Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Are Causing Outbreaks In Hospitals, Largest Outbreak Just Occurred In Illinois, CDC Warns Of "Catastrophic Consequences" If Not Addressed

This is scary. The war against antibiotic-resistant bacteria has arrived.

Source: FRONTLINE's 'Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria'

Quotes from the transcript:

By then, 18 patients had been infected with KPC, and the ultimate tragedy, six people had died from it.

Many inside NIH continue to be concerned.

DAVID E. HOFFMAN: Do you think KPC is now gone from your hospital?

Dr. TARA PALMORE: Oh, no. Absolutely not. I think that— that we have to be extremely vigilant in the coming years because of the increasing rise, the increasing prevalence of KPCs in the United States.

JULIE SEGRE: One of the reasons that really brought me into this field is that I asked the director of clinical microbiology, “What do you do,” you know, “when you isolate one of these bacteria and you see that it is resistant to all known antibiotics?” I said, “Well, what do you do the? And he said, “I pray.”

Well, that’s not really part of how we typically— that means that we have come to the end of how we practice medicine with drugs.

Related recent news:

*Outbreak Of Drug-Resistant Bacteria Linked To Lutheran General Hospital (CBS Chicago, 1/6/2013)

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (STMW) – The largest outbreak of a very specific and very dangerous bacteria in the U.S. has been linked to procedures performed at a north suburban hospital last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has discovered 44 cases of a strain of bacteria called carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, in northeast Illinois, including 38 confirmed cases involving patients at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge who underwent an endoscopic procedure of the pancreas or bile ducts between January and September 2013.

*Notes from the Field: New Delhi Metallo-β-Lactamase–Producing Escherichia coli Associated with Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography — Illinois, 2013 (, 1/3/2013)

Infections with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)* are increasing among patients in medical facilities (1). CRE that produce Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) have been responsible for much of the increase in the United States. However, New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)–producing CRE have the potential to add to this burden. Since first reported in 2009, through 2012, 27 patients with NDM-producing CRE have been confirmed by CDC from isolates submitted by state laboratories. Since January 2013, a total of 69 patients with NDM-producing CRE have been identified in the United States; 44 patients were from northeastern Illinois.

From March to July 2013, nine patients with positive cultures for NDM-producing Escherichia coli (eight clinical cultures and one rectal surveillance culture) were identified in northeastern Illinois. An investigation was conducted to understand and prevent the transmission of NDM-producing CRE. A case was defined as an NDM-producing E. coli isolate, recovered from a patient in northeastern Illinois, with >85% similarity by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to the outbreak strain, detected after January 1, 2013. Of the nine cases, eight were treated at the same hospital (hospital A). To determine risk factors for acquiring NDM-producing CRE, a case-control study was conducted. The eight patients cared for at hospital A were selected as case-patients; 27 controls were randomly selected from among 131 hospital A patients with negative surveillance cultures. A history of undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)† at hospital A was strongly associated with case status (six of eight [75%] versus one of 27 [4%]; odds ratio = 78.0; 95% confidence interval = 6.0 to >999.99).

After manual cleaning and high-level disinfection in an automated endoscope reprocessor, cultures were obtained from the ERCP endoscope used on five of the case-patients. NDM-producing E. coli and KPC-producing K. pneumoniae were recovered from the terminal section (the elevator channel) of the device (continue reading at

Here is the CDC's warning:

Executive Summary

Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 is a snapshot of the complex problem of antibiotic resistance today and the potentially catastrophic consequences of inaction. The overriding purpose of this report is to increase awareness of the threat that antibiotic resistance poses and to encourage immediate action to address the threat . This document can serve as a reference for anyone looking for information about antibiotic resistance . It is specifically designed to be accessible to many audiences . For more technical information, references and links are provided.

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