Super Resistant Bugs

A super resistant bacteria that is disables any antibiotic has cropped up in Tel Aviv and has been traced back to a patient in New Jersey.  The bacteria produces an enzyme, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenamase, or KPC that disables carbapenam antibiotics that have been used as last ditch treatments for infections that don’t respond to anything else.  Doctors say that we have now lost our drug of last resort.  Most of these infections are isolated to hospital patients and have not spread to the community but they are cropping up nationwide, although are currently concentrated in New York and New Jersey.  According to the medical director of infection control at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Yoko Furuya, they are seeing a lot of KPC cases. This puts hospitals and doctors in the same position they were 15 years ago trying to fight staph aureus infections.  New tests can now distinguish between many different infectious diseases and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has posted updated guidelines in March of 2009 or doctors and hospital staff treating patients infected with similar difficult to treat infections.  Some of the precautions recommended include wearing gloves and gowns to prevent spreading the disease to other patients.  The CDC indicates that these infections are being rapidly spread worldwide making it even more critical to know which infection patients have contracted. Written by...

Dramatic Increase in Children Hospitalized with MSRA

Until recently, antibiotic resistant staph infections have been seen only in hospitals.  A recent study, published in the Journal, Pediatrics, shows that this has changed dramatically and the dangerous infection is now arising in the community.  MSRA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, cases seen in children in 25 hospitals in the United States rose 10-fold between 1999 and 2008.  “Almost 30,000 children were hospitalized with MRSA infections at the hospitals studied during the 10-year period. Most had skin or muscle infections, and 374 youngsters with MRSA died.” One of the authors of the study, Dr. Jason Newland said “It isn’t clear if MRSA caused those deaths, it can be deadly and is blamed for more than 18,000 deaths in children and adults nationwide each year.” New tests have been developed that can determine more quickly which type of staph infection a person has, a critical step in the quick and effective treatment of the disease.  A corresponding rise in the use of clindamycin, an antibiotic used to treat MRSA, was seen during this same time period.  This is problematic because MRSA is already becoming resistant to this antibiotic in some regions of the country.  According to Dr. Newland, it is important to continue research into new treatments because MRSA will ultimately find its way around any antibiotic used to treat it. Written by...