A team of clinician researchers has discovered a highly virulent, multidrug resistant form of the pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in patient samples in Ohio. Their investigation suggests that the particular genetic element involved, which is still rare in the United States, has been spreading heretofore unnoticed, and that surveillance is urgently needed. The research is published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
The P. aeruginosa contained a gene for a drug resistant enzyme called a metallo beta-lactamase. Beta-lactamases enable broad-spectrum resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, including carbapenems, cephalosporins, and penicillins, because they can break the four atom beta-lactam ring, a critical component of these antibiotics’ structure.
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