‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Require Old and New Weapons

Post 4297

‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Require Old and New Weapons

Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Superbug” bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics have the potential to create a nightmare scenario for modern medicine, but experts are hopeful that doctors will be able to slow the spread of these scary infections, by both traditional means and new innovations.

Recently, a Los Angeles hospital announced that more than 100 patients treated there had potentially been exposed to CRE, or carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics. The bacteria appear to have contaminated a piece of medical equipment used at the facility called an endoscope, which is a flexible tube that doctors use to view the digestive tract. Seven patients at the hospital were infected with CRE after they underwent an endoscopy with the device.

Endoscopies are generally considered to be low-risk procedures, but two of the patients died from their infections, the hospital said.

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