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Red Bugs with No Drugs – Part 2

Categories: Antibiotic use, Gram negatives, Healthcare-associated infections

Dr. Arjun Srinivasan

So, you find yourself in the horrible situation of having a patient with a Gram-negative infection.  Increasingly, clinicians are getting back reports from the microbiology lab showing pathogens that are resistant to every antibiotic they would normally use to treat a patient.  What do you do when this happens?

First, immediately implement contact precautions (such as gloves and gowns).  Secondly, in some cases you should do active surveillance among the patients who are epidemiologically linked to the case-patient.  By conducting active surveillance, you can identify additional patients colonized with these organisms.  This can help you determine whether you have ongoing patient-to-patient transmission of these bacteria in your facility.   If you detect transmission—meaning that you identify cases among patients with epidemiologic links to your case-patient—vigorously reinforce infection prevention measures until no new cases are identified.

Now that you have searched, contained, and reinforced infection prevention, you have potentially saved numerous patients by preventing the spread of Gram negatives in your facility. 

But, what about your index patient who you are still struggling to treat?  And what is being done to look for more drugs in the pipeline?  Tune in for the next two weeks to see how clinicians are tackling treatment of gram negatives and what our partners are doing to look for new drugs for these red bugs.  In the meantime, we would like to hear your thoughts.

Red Bugs with No Drugs – Part 3: I.D. doctor on treatment

Red Bugs with No Drugs – Part 4: IDSA on the need for more drugs

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. November 17, 2011 at 9:50 am ET  -   ResistanceMap Shows Rise in Dangerous Bacterial Infection | Pioneering Ideas

    [...] public health officials have to act now – active surveillance and adherence to the latest CDC prevention and control guidelines can curtail the spread of CRKP before it spreads even [...]

    Link to this comment

  2. November 17, 2011 at 9:50 am ET  -   ResistanceMap Shows Rise in Dangerous Bacterial Infection | Pioneering Ideas

    [...] public health officials have to act now – active surveillance and adherence to the latest CDC prevention and control guidelines can curtail the spread of CRKP before it spreads even [...]

    Link to this comment

  3. April 29, 2011 at 9:27 am ET  -   Ledger

    It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Link to this comment

  4. April 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm ET  -   Leslie

    Amazing and really helpful post, truly!

    Link to this comment

  5. April 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm ET  -   Bond

    Great post, honest! And you’ve definitely provided me with some food for thought!

    Link to this comment

  6. March 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm ET  -   Kristi Hebert

    Howdy|Greetings|I’m amazed, that’s a really well written article. By the way, where did you get your theme? It appears it was skillfully designed.

    Link to this comment

  7. April 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm ET  -   Michael E. Bailey

    A very important step in the fight against gram negative bacterial infections is the development of faster and more accurate laboratory tests that can be done in any medical laboratory in any country. To develop such a test will require lots of funding, research, and testing, but the end result would be well worth the cost. The big drug companies all have foundations, and the foundations maybe could be asked to contribute to the effort of developing the new lab tests and the new antibiotics that will be needed to control gramnegative bacterial infections. I am a member of People First, California, Orange County Chapter. People First is made up of persons who have disabilities. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

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  8. April 22, 2010 at 10:56 am ET  -   Sanjay Kulkarni

    I work as an infection control consultant in India. Thank you Sir for a very concise and clear outline of the things to do when we encounter a gram negative infection. I think we need to have more research to develop cost effective, easy to perform lab tests (more rapid than a culture test) to detect gram negative infections earlier. For example, something like one or more biochemical markers which can be done in a basic lab. It will be very useful for a country where good microbiology support is rare.

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