Posts Tagged supper bug

The Invisible Enemy

“Behind the scenes, the spread of a pathogen that targets wounded GIs has triggered broad reforms in both combat medical care and the Pentagon’s networks for tracking bacterial threats within the ranks.

Interviews with current and former military physicians, recent articles in medical journals, and internal reports reveal that the Department of Defense has been waging a secret war within the larger mission in Iraq and Afghanistan – a war against antibiotic-resistant pathogens.”

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NDM-1 in a U.S. Military Hospital in Afghanistan

By Maryn McKenna

… Deep in the back of the weekly bulletin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a note that NDM-1, the “Indian supergene,” has been isolated from a patient in a U.S. military field hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan.

It’s been a few months since NDM-1 was in the news, so let’s recap. The acronym (for “New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1″) indicates an enzyme that allows common gut bacteria to denature almost all the drugs that can be used against them, leaving two or three that are inefficient or toxic.

… You don’t even have to imagine what comes next, because we already know: Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii has been spreading through the military hospital system for almost a decade, with grave consequences for injured military personnel.

Acintobacter slipped by the military medical system before they noticed, and became established in military hospitals before infection-control efforts were prepared to counter it.

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