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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: May 6, 2014


DOVER (May 5, 2014) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Delaware has the first known case in the country of NDM-producing carbapenem-resistant (CR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a multidrug-resistant bacterial organism first reported in Serbia. The Delaware case is an 81-year-old New Castle County resident with underlying medical conditions. He is currently receiving medical treatment in Pennsylvania after being hospitalized in Delaware.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health to gather information and determine appropriate next steps. As per CDC recommendations, DPH is completing testing on the man's hospital roommates for the time he spent in a Delaware health care setting.

There is also a second case of NDM-producing Pseudomonas in a Pennsylvania resident. Both individuals were hospitalized at the same location in Pennsylvania and investigation into the cases continue.

NDM-producing CR Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterial organism that has been detected in Europe after initially being reported in Serbia. "NDM" is an antibiotic-resistant gene seen in different groups of bacteria, such as Enterobacteriaceae, in the US and elsewhere in the past several years, but this is the first time this gene has been reported in Pseudomonas in the US.

Healthy people in the community usually do not develop serious Pseudomonas infections. Serious infections can occur in patients in the hospital and/or those with weakened immune systems. Pseudomonas bacteria can cause a variety of health care-associated infections, most commonly infections in the lungs and urinary tract and bloodstream among hospitalized patients or those with weakened immune system.

An estimated 51,000 healthcare-associated P. aeruginosa infections occur in the United States each year. More than 6,000 (13 percent) of these are multidrug-resistant, with roughly 400 deaths per year attributed to these infections. Antibiotic resistant infections are becoming increasingly common. DPH recommends limiting the use of antibiotics to only when necessary for illness and aggressive treatment for any detected multi-drug resistant cases.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.