Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2018

CDC: Drug-resistant ‘nightmare bacteria’ pose growing threat

This undated file illustration made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta depicts Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, one of the germs that can evolve to resist antibiotics. (CDC via AP, File)

This undated file illustration made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta depicts Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, one of the germs that can evolve to resist antibiotics. (CDC via AP, File)

April 3, 2018


"Nightmare bacteria" with unusual resistance to antibiotics of last resort were found more than 200 times in the United States last year in a first-of-a-kind hunt to see how much of a threat these rare cases are becoming, health officials said Tuesday.

That's more than they had expected to find, and the true number is probably higher because the effort involved only certain labs in each state, officials say.

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The problem mostly strikes people in hospitals and nursing homes who need IVs and other tubes that can get infected. In many cases, others in close contact with these patients also harbored the superbugs even though they weren't sick — a risk for further spread.

Some of the sick patients had traveled for surgery or other health care to another country where drug-resistant germs are more common, and the superbug infections were discovered after they returned to the U.S.

"Essentially, we found nightmare bacteria in your backyard," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"These verge on untreatable infections" where the only option may be supportive care — fluids and sometimes machines to maintain life to give the patient a chance to recover, Schuchat said.

The situation was described in a CDC report.

Bugs and drugs are in a constant battle, as germs evolve to resist new and old antibiotics. About 2 million Americans get infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year and 23,000 die, Schuchat said.

Concern has been growing about a rise in bacteria resistant to all or most antibiotics. Last year, public health labs around the country were asked to watch for and quickly respond to cases of advanced antibiotic resistance, especially to some last-resort antibiotics called carbapenems.

In the first nine months of the year, more than 5,770 samples were tested for these "nightmare bacteria," as the CDC calls them, and one quarter were found to have genes that make them hard to treat and easy to share their resistance tricks with other types of bacteria. Of these, 221 had unusual genes that conferred resistance. The cases were scattered throughout 27 states.

"Even in remote areas," this threat is real, because patients often transfer to and from other places for care, said Dr. Jay Butler, chief medical officer for the state of Alaska and past president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

Others in close contact with the infected patient then were tested, and 11 percent were found to be carrying the same superbugs even though they were not sick. This gives the bugs more of a chance to spread.

What to do? The CDC suggests:

• Tell your doctors if you recently had health care in another country.

• Talk with them about preventing infections, taking care of chronic conditions to help avoid them, and getting vaccines to prevent them.

• Wash your hands regularly and keep cuts clean until healed.


Joe Blackford II 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Come 2023, when KSU's National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, is stocked with pathogens, be prepared to:

• Tell your doctors if you have recently been to Manhattan. Recall being asked at the doctor's office IF you've recently been to West Africa (possibly exposed to Ebola)?

"The Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) at Kansas State University was established in 2010 to help protect the nation's agricultural and public health sectors against high-consequence foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic* disease threats."

zoonotic* => a disease that can be transmitted from animals to people or, more specifically, a disease that normally exists in animals but that can infect humans.

Michael Kort 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Bacteria get viral infections...... in which a virus uses a bacteria to replicate itself after which it kills the host bacteria . .

When the bacteria becomes full of little viruses, the parent virus causes the infected bacteria to basicly explode releasing its' viral offspring into the wild...... by injecting the bacteria with a simple substance that can be duplicated as a drug and attached to a targeting system so that it only goes after one single type of bacteria .

In some Eastern European block countries live virus is used to treat infection but live virus is a mutatable thing that could go horribly wrong .

Isolating the viral chemical weapon of bacterial destruction and targeting that to kill just one bacteria that it can dock to is a sensible idea if it can be developed and proven safe......

The above link is to a German company that has proven such a possibility but only in mice as workable......and which falls outside of the bacterias ability to resist it's working .

There are 10 times the number of bacteria in and on a human being than actual human cells and broad spectrum antibiotics can kill the good with the bad ( if they can even kill the bad anymore )

Drug resistant bacteria live in a bio film which reduces the ability of an normal antibiotic to get to them by maybe as much as 99.9 % .

Inside of the biofilm some bacteria are in a state of persistence meaning that they do no biological processes that an antibiotic can interfear with to kill them and probably are dormant until the population of functioning bacterial inhabitants lowers ? they are like Freddy Kruger........they keep coming back .

At any rate the day will come when new methods will clear an infection in hours and not weeks like anti biopics and people will refer to antibiotic therapy with the reverence reserved for bleeding sick people which killed George Wasington or rolling them up in a rug and beating them with a stick to drive out the evil spirits .

Michael Kort 2 weeks, 2 days ago

What is creepier to me than super bugs is the medias absolute lack of interest in medical research into killing them !

It is like reading dumb and dumber ! ! !

Said another way,.......billions for a wall......but " leave it to beaver attitude " to solve this night mirror scenario of drug resistant bacteria........where a Manhatan Like Project that stops at nothing is warranted .

Anything that kills bacteria selectively down to a single type of bacteria obviously requires rapid testing to figure out what to kill .

Bob Smith 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Watch the trade routes! ( a golden oldie on this site)

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