CDC monitoring antibiotic resistant infections in patients who had procedures in Mexico

March 22, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it is monitoring reports of highly antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa identified in individuals who have recently had invasive medical procedures in Mexico.

Since July 2020, CDC said it has received reports of eight patients who presented to U.S. healthcare facilities with these infections following surgeries in Mexico.

Among these, six occurred in patients who underwent medical procedures (bariatric surgery, plastic surgery, cholecystectomy, and cancer treatment) in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico at different healthcare facilities. Two cases occurred in patients who underwent surgery in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. At this time there is no evidence of an ongoing outbreak linked to a particular facility or surgeon, the CDC said.

The CDC said the infections were caused by a strain of P. aeruginosa that expresses a carbapenemase called the Verona integron-encoded metallo-β-lactamase (VIM). P. aeruginosa expressing VIM (VIM-CRPA) are often resistant to all first-line antibiotics and can cause infections that are difficult to treat. VIM-CRPA isolates associated with the initial outbreak in Tijuana have been extensively drug resistant (XDR).

Testing resources for Pseudomonas aeruginosa are available through the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network, which can be accessed through healthcare-associated infections programs at state health departments, the CDC said.

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