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Study finds multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria high in long-term care
Date:4/10/2009

The prevalence of a certain form of drug-resistant bacteria, called multidrug-resistant gram-negative (MDRGN) organisms, far surpassed that of two other common antimicrobial-resistant infections in long-term care facilities, according to a study conducted by researchers at Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research.

Residents at long-term care facilities are one of the main reservoirs of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. Epidemiological studies have focused primarily on two common antimicrobial-resistant organismsmethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).

"Recently, it has become apparent that multidrug resistance among gram-negative bacteria is becoming an even greater problem in these facilities, with nearly half of long-term care facility residents harboring multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria," write the researchers, led by IFAR's Erin'O'Fallon, M.D., M.P.H., in the January issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

MDRGN infection can lead to toxins in the bloodstream that cause inflammation and destroy healthy tissue. Left untreated, these infections can be fatal.

More than 80 percent of the MDRGN cases in the study were resistant to commonly prescribed antimicrobial medications, including ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and amipicillin/sulbactam. By definition all of the identified MDRGN bacteria were resistant to at least three different classes of antimicrobial drugs, with one-third of them resistant to four.

These findings, says Dr. O'Fallon, a staff geriatrician at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, raise concerns about the therapeutic options available to physicians in treating long-term care residents with MDRGN. Hospitals and long-term care facilities have only recently begun to include MDRGN in their surveillance of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and have ex
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Contact: Scott Edwards
edwards@hrca.harvard.edu
781-247-8172
Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research
Source:Eurekalert

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