NEWS SCAN: Linezolid-resistant infections, more Salmonella cases, WHO transparency

Jun 9, 2010

Spanish researchers detail outbreak of linezolid-resistant MRSA
Spanish researchers yesterday reported the first known outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to linezolid (LRSA), one of the few antibiotics that can be used to treat severe methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) infections. They described the 2008 outbreak, which involved 12 patients in a Madrid teaching hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). They linked the outbreak with extensive use of linezolid at the hospital and reported that reducing its use and applying targeted infection-control measures stopped the outbreak. Use of the drug decreased from 202 defined daily doses in April 2008 to 25 by July 2008. Since then, surveillance has detected no new linezolid-resistant infections, the report says. In an accompanying JAMA editorial, Robert Gaynes, MD, from Emory University School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Atlanta, writes that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is renewing its efforts to monitor antibiotic use. He emphasized that every clinician must do a better job to preserve the effectiveness of critical therapies such as linezolid.
Jun 8 JAMA abstract
Jun 8 JAMA editorial

Illinois Salmonella outbreak total reaches 60
Illinois health officials yesterday said they had confirmed 12 more cases of Salmonella serotype Hvittingfoss in people who ate at Subway restaurants, raising the total so far to 60. They also said Subway restaurants in four more counties have been linked to the outbreak, bringing the number of counties to 22. Patients range in age from 2 to 88. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said its investigation is ongoing.
Jun 8 IDPH Salmonella outbreak update

WHO calls nondisclosure of pandemic advisors' industry ties an oversight
A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman said the nondisclosure of the industry ties of WHO advisors who helped develop pandemic guidance in 2004 was an "oversight," according to Medscape Medical News. Gregory Hartl said, "If we were using today's practices, we would've published the summary for the relevant interests. The way we handle [declarations of interest] is a work in progress." Hartl commented in response to last week's British Medical Journal article that raised questions about the openness of WHO decision-making related to the H1N1 pandemic. The article said three scientists who helped develop WHO guidance on antivirals and vaccines had done paid work for pharmaceutical companies and that this was not stated in the WHO guidance document. The scientists had declared their industry connections in other publications.
Jun 8 Medscape Medical News report

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