Friday, August 19, 2011

Super Bug Outbreak Alert! 8-19-2011

Scientists Search for Kryptonite to Defeat Drug-Resistant Super Bugs

Many Believe that a Supervirus will be the Doom of Mankind

This theory has been gaining more popularity lately, as many new drug-resistant superbugs have been not only been killing people, but birds, fish and even pigs across the globe.

With birds falling from the sky while people are dying in modern hospitals from mysterious staff infections, its no wonder that people's imaginations are running amok. While religious doomsday sayers preach about biblical plagues many heathen conspiracy theorists believe the diseases were manufactured in government labs to implement some sort of population reduction.

Meanwhile, public health officials are worried about the rising number of new drug resistant superbugs, as well as of the overuse of antibiotics, hand sanitizers and home disinfectants. The overuse of atibiotic drugs and cleaners could make these bacteria resistant to them, so that they would no longer work for even curing minor viral infections, including flu, coughs, colds and sore throats.  

Fortunately, a team of Canadian scientists discovered that specific mixtures of antimicrobial agents presented in lipid (fatty) mixtures can significantly boost the effectiveness of those agents to kill the resistant bacteria.

Thank God these "Super bugs," which can cause wide-spread disease and may be resistant to most, if not all, conventional antibiotics, still have their weaknesses.

According to Richard Epand, Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Science at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, a researcher involved in the study, "This study may contribute to overcoming the lethal effects of drug resistant bacteria that is becoming an increasing clinical problem, particularly in hospitals."

Their discovery came when Epand and colleagues conducted experiments using groups of mice infected with lethal doses of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli). The rresearchers then treated the mice with conventional drug combinations or drug combinations encapsulated in lipid mixtures. They found that certain lipid mixtures caused the drugs to act together in a synergistic manner. In this mano, the drugs were far more effective in increasing the survival rate of the lab rats, as they overcame the cellular mechanisms used by these bacteria to defeat therapeutic agents.

This study also demonstrated a new use of the premier family of antimicrobial agents called oligo-acyl-lysyls, which have the potential to be combined with other drugs to yield a platform for other specific applications.

Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal said, "as we've seen in the recent E. coli outbreak in Germany, bacteria can mutate to become super bugs that resist antibiotics. Thanks to this new, lipid-based antibiotic therapy, multidrug-resistant bacteria may begin to look more like Jimmy Olsen and a lot less like Superman."...

What do you think? Do you think science will outsmart bacteria and viruses? Do you believe we will someday conquer disease? Maybe enable people to live longer? Please leave your comment bellow!

Written By: Tom Retterbush


Superbug frightening for frail patients in Los Angeles, Utah and beyond

Published: Monday, March 28, 2011 12:25 p.m. MDT
A "superbug" that outsmarts multiple types of antibiotics in the medical arsenal has infected more than 350 patients in Los Angeles-area facilities. And that has health officials nationwide worried. A study of the issue by the LA. County Department of Public Health will be presented in Dallas next week at the annual meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
ABC News reported this weekend that carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, had been seen hundreds of times there between June and December of 2010. Most of the patients were elderly. The report quoted study author Dr. Dawn Terashita, medical epidemiologist, as saying most of the patients were elderly, they were often on ventilators and they are apt to have been staying at a facility for a long time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking CRKP across the country in 2009. Officials there say it is harder to treat than MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It has also been confirmed in most of the states, including Utah, according to a map made by the CDC.

The CDC describes Klebsiella as a type of gram-negative bacteria that normally is found living harmlessly in human intestines. It can cause a variety of infections, most of them associated with healthcare settings, including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgery-site infections and meningitis. That's determined by how it enters a patient, so infection gained through respiration becomes pneumonia, while that in a wound becomes a bloodstream infection, for example.

So-called "superbugs" occur when bacteria mutate to the point that antibiotics previously effective against them no longer are. "Superbug" and "multiresistant" are sometimes used interchangeably.

The ABC report emphasizes that healthy people are not endangered by the bacteria, but said it can be lethal to those who are ill or frail....

Superbug outbreak declared at Kingston hospital

Aug 17, 2011 – 9:01 AM ET
KINGSTON, Ont. — An Ontario hospital has declared a facility-wide outbreak of the drug-resistant superbug C. difficile, after 12 new cases were reported in the last 30 days.

The Kingston General Hospital said in a statement that staff are working to contain the outbreak and stop further spread of the hospital-acquired infection.

The hospital is urging people not to come to the hospital if they are feeling unwell, and advising visitors to be diligent in washing their hands to prevent spreading the disease.

C. difficile spreads through contact with fecal matter and is especially difficult for the elderly and those with existing health conditions to handle. Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain.

Ontario has struggled to contain the superbug, which is responsible for at least 24 deaths since May.

Hospitals in the Niagara area, Guelph and Orangeville have all grappled with outbreaks.

Superbug alert after hospital patient dies

Mary Ann Benitez
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Infection control measures were rushed in at a ward in Caritas Medical Centre after an elderly man with a hospital-acquired superbug infection died. 
Two other patients were found to be carriers of the superbug and were in fair condition in isolation last night.

The Kowloon hospital said a 74-year-old man with pneumonia and acute renal failure was admitted to a 50-bed medical ward at the hospital in Sham Shui Po on July 29.

The patient was put on a catheter, but there was no information on other treatment he received.

He was confirmed to be suffering from Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) urinary tract infection on Sunday.

He died of renal failure yesterday morning.

The case is being investigated by the Hospital Authority and the Centre for Health Protection.

The hospital is testing patients who stayed in the same ward with the man over the same period and have found two male patients aged 74 and 76 to be VRE carriers after rectal swabs.

Both men were earlier admitted to hospital for pneumonia.

"This is contact precaution," a hospital spokeswoman said. "They have no infection signs, just carriers."
Both patients are being monitored and are in fair condition in isolation.

The hospital has stepped up handwashing and alerted staff to keep to a high standard of disease control and ensure proper use of antibiotics, including Vancomycin, and management of VRE carriers.

Tests are pending on other patients who may have been infected, the spokeswoman said, adding that no members of hospital staff are being tested for the superbug infection.

A specialist in infectious diseases, Lo Wing-lok, said he is not surprised with the cluster of superbug infections.
This is because Caritas serves "a very aged area and there are so many elderly patients who are chronically ill and staying in hospital for a long time."

VRE is an opportunistic bacteria found in the intestines which usually preys on the elderly and patients with low levels of immunity.

Lo said a urinary catheter usually serves as "a highway for the bacteria to move from the bowels to the urinary tract."

Elderly men "have big prostate glands and do not pass water as well as young people" so are prone to urinary tract infection when they use catheters for too long.

"I understand how such outbreaks can happen where elderly patients are being admitted and stay for a long time, where it is usually crowded and staff are stretched to the limit. We can only blame the system," he said.

New superbug is on the rise in our hospitals

WORRY: More patients hit by CRE

By Clodagh Sheehy
Thursday August 18 2011

Four new cases of a hospital superbug, which can cause dangerous infections in vulnerable patients, have been detected here in the past month.

The bug, which is resistant to some antibiotics, can hit the kidneys, wounds and blood of patients.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is to review all critical care units to assess the prevalence of the infection.

The bug CRE (Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae) lives in the bowel and five cases were detected in Irish hospitals earlier this year.

The independent European journal Eurosurveillance has now confirmed that "as of July 20, 2011 an additional four cases" of the superbug had been found.

The nine cases are the first reported cases of this strain of CRE in Ireland and the HPSC has described the outbreak as "dramatically changing the epidemiology of CRE in Ireland".

CRE cases have been notifiable in Ireland since March but to date there has been no national compulsory screening programme.

Five cases were detected between March and Junein patients who had all undergone complex stomach surgery.

One patient later died from "complications of a gastro- intestinal haemorrhage not related to infection".

The four new cases were found in St Vincent's hospital in Dublin and the Mid Western Regional hospital in Limerick, St John's Hospital, Ennis General Hospital and Nenagh General Hospital.

None of the patients had been treated at a healthcare facility outside the country in the previous 12 months and so had not picked up the bug abroad.

The superbug was first found in Turkey three years ago and since then outbreaks have been reported in France, Germany and the UK, Argentina, Lebanon, Israel Morocco and Tunisia.

The HPSC has announced plans for a new study to detect how common the bug is in hospital intensive care units in this country.

1 comment:

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