Monday, September 13, 2010

What the overuse and misuse of antibiotics

Has led us to:
New drug-resistant superbugs found in 3 states

The U.S. cases occurred this year in people from California, Massachusetts and Illinois, said Brandi Limbago, a lab chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three types of bacteria were involved, and three different mechanisms let the gene become part of them.


She did not know how the three patients were treated, but all survived.
Doctors have tried treating some of these cases with combinations of antibiotics, hoping that will be more effective than individual ones are. Some have resorted to using polymyxins — antibiotics used in the 1950s and '60s that were unpopular because they can harm the kidneys.

The two Canadian cases were treated with a combination of antibiotics, said Dr. Johann Pitout of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. One case was in Alberta, the other in British Columbia.

Both patients had medical emergencies while traveling in India. They developed urinary infections that were discovered to have the resistance gene once they returned home to Canada, Pitout said.

The CDC advises any hospitals that find such cases to put the patient in medical isolation, check the patient's close contacts for possible infection, and look for more infections in the hospital.

Any case "should raise an alarm," Limbago said.

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