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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 24/31, 2013

Bacterial Carbapenem Resistance Could Create “Nightmare Scenario”

JAMA. 2013;310(4):363. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8503

Reliable, rapid methods to detect Enterobacteriaceae that have developed resistance to all β-lactam antibiotics (including last-line agents such as carbapenems) and other commonly used antibiotics are needed to halt a major global public health threat.

A study in Emerging Infectious Diseases reported that a carbapenem-disabling enzyme first identified 3 years ago in India, the New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM), was detected in bacteria isolated from 8 patients in the United States between April 2009 and March 2011. In the short time since it was identified, bacteria generating NDM have quickly spread worldwide. Strains harboring the enzyme have been found in patients in more than 15 countries on 5 continents. The study authors noted that since the completion of their research, additional NDM-producing Enterobacteriaceae have been identified in the United States.