MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

ASM Fellowships

Fellowship

Microbes After Hours

WaterSupplyYouTubeFrame

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Featured Image

Featured Video

Ebola Virus explained

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

Superbug makes way to L.A. area

A deadly bacteria thought to be resistant to all known remedies has made its way to Los Angeles County medical facilities, officials said this week, adding urgency to the dire need for more powerful antibiotics.

Dr. Dawn Terashita, an epidemiologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, found 356 cases of a multiresistant form of Klebsiella pneumoniae, also known as CRKP. The pathogen was formerly thought to be contained to the East Coast, but local laboratory results from June to December show that it has spread.

The majority of cases were elderly patients at skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities, but lab results also show a small percentage of cases at acute care hospitals.

Long Beach Health Officer Helene Calvet said the bacteria is linked only to hospital intensive care units, and the public is generally not exposed to it.

"It's not a threat to people who are healthy and out in the community," she said.

No cases have been reported at St. Mary Medical Center or Memorial Medical Center, according to officials at those hospitals.

Officials in the South Bay confirmed that they have seen the pathogen in local facilities over the past year.

"It has killed patients here, for sure," said Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease expert and physician at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance. "This is scary stuff. It cannot be treated with any antibiotic that we know of. ... We're at the point with some of this (resistant bacteria) that we're just mixing a bunch of crap together, throwing it at the patient and crossing our fingers."

A small number of patients at Torrance Memorial Medical Center also have tested positive for CRKP, most of them brought in from nursing facilities, said Elizabeth Clark, director of infection control. These patients are immediately put into isolation, and precautionary measures are taken to prevent its spread, she said.

"We are limited in what we can give these patients," she said.

The findings of Terashita's analysis were to be presented at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America's conference April 1 to 4 in Dallas. The society imposed an April 3 embargo on the study, but the Daily Breeze and other news organizations have decided to publish the results because of the public health concerns involved.
 
 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

 

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use