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NSF International Scientists Announce Discovery of New Bacterium, Same Family as E. coli and Klebsiella Pneumonia
Date:11/13/2013

er is particularly concerning due to the possibility of fecal matter contamination on products used for oral care. Further testing on K. michiganensis confirmed that the novel bacterium is resistant to three specific antibiotic drugs: cefazolin, sulfisoxazole and ampicillin,” said Robert Donofrio, M.S., Ph.D., lead author of the study and Director of NSF International’s Applied Research Center, which conducts original research in microbiology, toxicology and chemistry for universities, regulatory bodies and industry to advance their scientific studies and projects.

Researchers confirmed that no one in the household that swabbed the toothbrush holder had recently been traveling or was sick, thus ruling out that the germ originated outside the U.S. or in a hospital setting. The three specific antibiotic drugs K. michiganensis is resistant to are commonly used to treat and prevent inflections:

  • Cefazolin is used to treat lung, skin, bone, joint, stomach, blood, heart valve and urinary tract infections, and is also used before and during surgeries to help prevent infection;
  • Sulfisoxazole is used to treat middle ear, urinary tract, eye and lung infections, as well as chlamydia, corneal ulcers and respiratory tract fistula; and
  • Ampicillin is used to treat pneumonia, bronchitis, bacterial meningitis, septicemia and endocarditis, as well as ear, lung, skin, heart valve, gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections.

K. michiganensis was first announced in the journal Current Microbiology, volume 66, published online Oct. 6, 2012. The initial report cites a number of factors contributing to the high bacteria count on toothbrush holders, including infrequent cleaning and close proximity to flushing toilets.

“The discovery of K. michiganensis furthers NSF’s global sci
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