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- Gram negative, aerobic, motile bacilli of the Enterobacteriaceae family.
- Major human pathogenic spp: E. cloacae (most common), E. aerogenes, E. gergoviae and Pantoea agglomerans.
- E. sakazakii now classified as Cronobacter.
- Organism often with high levels of drug resistance due to expression of (1) chromosomal AmpC beta-lactamases that are constitutive and inducible, (2) plasmid-encoded extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and (3) carbapenemases.
- β-lactams must be present for activation of inducible beta-lactamases, so initial susceptibility reports may not detect resistance that can arise during therapy.