February 18, 2008

Completely Drug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii

A forty nine year old woman has died from completely drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in a New Orleans hospital. Another patient on the same floor died from it also.
The hospital admitted that the bacteria was contracted in the hospital, that they had tested it for every drug susceptibility and that it was resistant to them all.
The family was told there was nothing more they could do and the woman died.

February 11, 2008

Epidemic-Middle East-Iraq Leishmaniasis


Over 180 children have been affected with Baghdad boil disease, or leishmaniasis, in Iraq's southern province of Qadissiyah, about 130km south of Baghdad, local officials said. Leishmaniasis is known by different local names, including oriental sore, Aleppo button, Jericho boil and Delhi boil. In its most unpleasant form - visceral leishmaniasis - organ failure and death can result. The disease's incubation period is up to six months, so thousands could have the disease without knowing it. "It is a dangerous disease which hits mostly children and could lead to death or leave skin deformities if no appropriate treatment is available," said Fatih Abdul-Salam, a dermatologist at Qadissiyah General Hospital. He said leishmaniasis is transmitted by the bite of the midge-like female phlebotomine sandflies - tiny sand-coloured blood-sucking flies. "The disease has spread because of the lack of medical measures in the province and the lack of medicines, as most of those available have expired," Abdul-Salam said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the currently-used drugs are in any case toxic, and have severe adverse reactions. They are also very costly. Nearly half of the current cases are in the Siniya area, about 15km west of Qadissiyah's provincial capital, Diwaniyah. "About a month ago, we informed the provincial officials about the spread of this disease in our area and that we did not have enough medicines for it," said Farhan Mohammed, the head of Siniya local council. "But no one responded in a serious way and that contributed to the spread of this disease, as our modest efforts in the area's medical centre were not enough," Mohammed said. According to WHO, the 20 or so infective species or subspecies of the parasite cause a range of symptoms, some of which are common (fever, malaise, weight loss, anaemia) - and swelling of the spleen, liver and lymph nodes in its visceral form. Cutaneous leishmaniasis - the most common form - causes 1-200 simple skin lesions which self-heal within a few months but which leave unsightly scars. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis begins with skin ulcers causing massive tissue destruction, especially of the nose and mouth.

Dutch military battling Acinetobacter baumannii

RNW Press Review – 25 January 2008 - by David Doherty

The Dutch army found itself battling a new enemy yesterday in the east of the Netherlands. "Soldiers in action against resistant bacteria" is the headline in AD, which features a front-page photo of servicemen and women in full camouflage gear setting up an emergency intensive care facility in a hospital car park in the province of Twente.

Two intensive care patients at the hospital were found to be infected with the rare Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria, which - like the more common hospital bug MSRA - is resistant to most antibiotics. The two are now in isolation and a sign reading "do not enter unless absolutely necessary" has been slapped on the rest of the ward.

The 14 patients currently on the ward will stay put. "We can only start disinfecting when the last patient has been discharged ... which could take up to three months depending on their condition," explained a hospital spokesman.

New intensive care patients will go to the military containers in the car park. AD reports that "there is a similar intensive care unit at the Dutch military camp in Afghanistan". "So we've got the experience to get everything set up quickly," adds one of the soldiers with a wink.