Navigation Links
Antibiotic-Resistant Meningitis Reported in U.S.

Health officials worry that overuse of antibiotics may be to blame

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The first U.S. cases of meningitis bacteria resistant to a widely used antibiotic have caused public health agencies to increase surveillance efforts, change preventive measures in one area of the country, and emphasize warnings about overuse of all antibiotics.

A toddler in North Dakota who recovered, a Minnesota adult who died and a Minnesota college student who survived were found to have been infected with meningitis bacteria resistant to ciprofloxacin, said a report in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Ciprofloxacin resistance had not been described in the United States," said report lead author Dr. Henry M. Wu, an officer with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's epidemic intelligence service. "When these cases presented, it became very important to investigate."

About 800 to 1,500 cases of bacterial meningitis occur each year in the United States, Wu said. The mortality rate is 10 percent to 15 percent, and "there are high rates of permanent disability among the survivors," he said.

A diagnosis of bacterial meningitis calls for immediate use of an antibiotic to protect anyone who has been in close contact with the patient. Ciprofloxacin is perhaps the most widely used antibiotic for bacterial meningitis, but its use for that purpose has been stopped in Minnesota and North Dakota to prevent the spread of the resistant strain, Wu said.

"After these three cases, we have increased antimicrobial testing," he said. "There has since been a single case in California, but we have not changed our recommendations for California. We have been increasing the number of isolates we test for resistance, but so far we have not detected any further cases."

The two alternatives to ciprofloxacin are the antibiotics rifampin and ceftriaxone, Wu said. The Minnesota student who recovered was treated with ceftriaxone, which must be given by injection. Ciprofloxacin is preferred for preventive treatment, because it can be taken orally, and "it doesn't involve multiple doses," he said.

Dr. Ruth Lynfield, Minnesota's state epidemiologist who took part in the investigation, said, "The fact that we now see emergence of ciprofloxacin resistance in this bacterium is very troubling. This underscores the importance of using antibiotics appropriately, so we don't overuse them."

Lynfield said health officials are worried about a repeat of the experience with gonorrhea, in which antibiotic resistance spread quickly after it first occurred. "We do think that it is related to overuse of antibiotics in the community," she said.

A vaccine against meningitis is available, but it is not effective against all strains of the bacteria, she said.

Antibiotics should be used only against bacterial infections -- not viral infections, including the common cold -- and only when prescribed by a doctor, Lynfield said.

"We all have a role in safeguarding these advanced antibiotics, because we are rapidly losing the tools in our toolbox," she said.

More information

Learn more about meningitis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Henry M. Wu, M.D., U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemic intelligence service, Atlanta; Ruth Lynfield, M.D., state epidemiologist, Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul; Feb. 26, 2009, New Engand Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. American Academy of Dermatology Research Shows Athletes Susceptible to Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Infections
2. Rhode Island Hospital study finds local retail meat safe from antibiotic-resistant organisms
3. Meningitis Shot Available, Effective Year-Round
4. Steroid Fails to Ease Meningitis in Trials
5. New Meningitis Vaccine Works in Infants
6. Schedules Revised for Flu, Meningitis Vaccines
7. Meningitis vaccine study gets £200,000 boost
8. Corticosteroids of Little Use Against Childhood Meningitis
9. UCAR weather forecasts aim to reduce African meningitis epidemics
10. NFID Expands Educational Efforts To Reach Racial, Ethnic Families About Dangers of Meningitis
11. AUDIO from Medialink and the National Meningitis Association: Peak Season for Meningitis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health Partners, ... new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, parents and ... abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of Bird-X Incorporated, ... explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite heater business ... to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep people warm ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, Dr. Todd C. ... and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private practice capabilities with the ... Highly trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, Dr. Todd Hobgood serves ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s student-produced ... in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions for ... years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the Evanston ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a passenger in a wheelchair ... to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them from bad weather, so ... safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, it ensures that the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to a donor with ... Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli Center for Women,s ... in San Francisco . ... stepped forward with a gift of $617,320 that allowed ... Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast Ultrasound. Tomosynthesis, three-dimensional ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CHAPEL HILL, N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... market research projects in an effort to quickly uncover ... market position. --> --> ... expeditiously launch a market research project and ensure that ... with company and industry standards. Another major barrier to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... COMMACK, New York , 24. November ... Hersteller des Avery Breathing Pacemaker Systems, ist ... Ph.D., als Clinical Consultant bekannt geben zu ... -->   --> ... Stockholm (Schweden). Von 1984-1986 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: