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An American Woman Died From A Superbug That Is Resistant To All Antibiotics Available In The U.S

Update Date: Jan 16, 2017 07:52 PM EST
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According to reports, an American died from a superbug that is said to be resistant to all available antibiotics in the United States. The 70-year-old American was a Washoe County resident who was admitted to an acute care hospital before succumbing to septic shock early last September of 2016 during her battle against the superbug infection.

The American woman was first admitted to an acute care hospital in Washoe Country, Northern Nevada last August 18, 2016. The initial diagnosis was a systemic inflammatory response syndrome likely from an infected hip seroma.

Upon further testing, the medical doctors were able to identify that the woman was suffering from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). The medical staff from the hospital was able to identify the specific CRE, Klebsiella pneumoniae, from the sample collected from a wound in the woman.

Upon the diagnosis and identification of CRE, the woman was isolated from other patients and placed in a single room under constant precautions. This is to prevent the spread of infection to other patients and the rest of the hospital. According to the report filed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last August 25, 2016, the center was notified by the Washoe County Health District about the case of a 70-year-old woman.

Based on records, the woman was in an extended visit India for two years. During her stay in India, the woman was hospitalized multiple times due to a right femur fracture and subsequent osteomyelitis of the right femur and hip. Upon her arrival to the US, the woman was then rushed to the hospital. Healthcare professionals and the CDC believe that the infection of the superbug started from the complication of the woman's right femur fracture.

The isolated sample taken from the woman's wound was sent to the CDC to determine its antimicrobial resistance mechanism. The CDC confirmed that the isolate has the presence of the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) and was also tested for antimicrobial susceptibility. The results indicated that the isolate was resistant to twenty-six antibiotics available in the United States. The woman was treated to sixteen of the twenty-six antibiotics available in the hospital but to no avail.

Post-mortem tests showed the superbug responding to a treatment using fosfomycin. However, the use of fosfomycin in the United States is only approved as an oral treatment for uncomplicated cystitis but the intravenous use of the drug is available in other countries.

The cases of superbugs reported have been growing for the past few years. Besides the ability of superbugs to be resistant to almost all antibiotics available, the resistant gene in these superbugs is transferrable to other bacteria.

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