News Scan for Nov 18, 2014

Antibiotic resistance in Europe
;
New Saudi MERS case

ECDC: Increased antibiotic resistance in Europe 'truly alarming'

Effective antimicrobial treatment options for certain infections in European countries continue to narrow, according to the newly released Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance in Europe 2013 report, issued yesterday by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The report, compiled from European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) data, presents resistance data from 30 countries for seven microorganisms: K pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Actinotobacter, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococci.

Among the most concerning findings is increasing resistance of K pneumoniae to carbapenems, which are among the last-line agents for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Carbapenem resistance remains relatively low in most countries, but in mean percentage for the population-weighted European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA), the resistance of K pneumoniae increased significantly, from 4.6% in 2010 to 8.3% in 2013.

Said European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis in the ECDC release, "The near doubling of resistance in a certain bacteria in three years is truly alarming, and illustrates the need to tackle the issue from all directions." He labeled antimicrobial resistance "one of the most pressing public health issues of our time."

Also of concern is that K pneumoniae showed resistance to polymyxin E (colistin), a backup drug for carbapenem-resistant K pneumoniae, for the first time, being observed in 5% of isolates. ECDC Director Marc Springer called this a "worrying development." He added, "We are gradually returning to the 'pre-antibiotic era,' when bacterial diseases could not be treated and most patients would die from their infection because there was no effective treatment."

Good news came regarding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A significant decreasing trend was seen from 2010 to 2013, although it was not as large as the drop in the previous 4-year period, and the EU/EEA population-weighted mean MRSA percentage remained above 25% in 7 of the 30 reporting countries.
Nov 17 ECDC press release
ECDC full report

 

Saudi Arabia reports new MERS case, recoveries, and death

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) today reported a new MERS-CoV case and a recovery from the disease in separate cities in Al-Kharj governorate. The MOH also reported 1 recovery yesterday and 1 death on Nov 16 in previously confirmed patients.

The case reported today involves an 84-year-old Saudi woman from Al-Kharj city who is hospitalized in critical condition. She is not a healthcare worker (HCW) and had no exposure to animals. The MOH reports that she had a preexisting medical condition and is investigating whether she had contact with suspected or confirmed MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) patients.

Today the MOH noted that a 32-year-old female expatriate from Riyadh has recovered from MERS. She is an HCW and had no preexisting disease. Yesterday the agency confirmed that a 33-year-old Saudi man from Riyadh had recovered from the disease. He had an underlying medical condition and is not an HCW.

The patient whose death was reported on Nov 16 was a 57-year-old Saudi man from Riyadh. He was not an HCW and had a preexisting medical condition.

The new case, recoveries, and death bring the Saudi MERS-CoV total to 806 cases. Fourteen cases are active, 449 people have recovered, and 343 people have died.
Nov 18 Saudi MOH
update
Nov 17 Saudi MOH
update
Nov 16 Saudi MOH
update

 

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