Drug-resistant pathogen found in large numbers in LA County

Mar 24, 2011

Researchers with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have found high rates of the multi-drug resistant pathogen, carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) among the patient population in long-term acute care hospitals compared to general acute care hospitals across the county. These findings are particularly important because CRKP was thought to be contained to East Coast facilities and communities. These findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) on April 3 in Dallas.

CRKP is resistant to nearly all antibiotic options and has been associated with higher mortality, longer hospital stays and increased . Because CRKP was thought to be rare in Los Angeles County, though actual numbers were unknown, Dawn Terashita, MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist and colleagues, with the county's Department of Public Health sought to establish a to monitor its existence in the county.

After declaring CRKP a laboratory-reportable disease, meaning that its appearance must be reported by a laboratory if found during testing, Terashita's team noted unexpectedly high numbers of CRKP across the county. During the study period of June 2010 to December 2010, 350 cases of CRKP were identified. Many of the cases, 42 percent, occurred in long-term acute care hospitals, and 6 percent were found in patients residing in skilled nursing facilities.

"This study does not go as far as addressing why we are seeing these high rates. We do not know if the presence of CRKP in these long-term acute care settings is the result of improper care, or has more to do with the population they serve. These patients tend to be elderly, they are commonly on ventilators and they often stay at the facility for an extended period of time. They tend to have many health problems and are often placed on antibiotics which may or may not be appropriate. All of these factors contribute to a greater risk for health care acquired infections," said Dr. Terashita.

Terashita underscored the need to monitor the development of emerging pathogens such as CRKP more closely in healthcare facilities including long-term acute care facilities.

"If we want to stop resistant bacteria in their tracks, we have to know where to begin." said Arjun Srinivasan, MD, Associate Director of Healthcare-associated Infection Prevention Programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "These findings demonstrate the vital need to monitor drug-resistant bacteria and highlight the important and growing role that state and local health departments are playing in helping monitor and prevent healthcare-associated infections."

Explore further: Mali announces new Ebola case

Provided by Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rate of health care associated MRSA infections decreasing

Aug 10, 2010

An analysis of data from 2005 through 2008 of nine metropolitan areas in the U.S. indicates that health care-associated invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections decreased among patients with ...

Recommended for you

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

2 hours ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

2 hours ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.