New Strains of Bacteria, Fungus Found in NECC Drugs
CDC also warns of uptick in spinal abscess, osteomyelitis reports.
Published: December 6, 2012
The CDC and FDA continue to test drugs from New England Compounding Center in the wake of the drug contamination and related outbreak that has now killed 36 and sickened 541. The federal agencies have identified additional microbial contamination in unopened vials of betamethasone, cardioplegia and triamcinolone solutions distributed and recalled from NECC.
The CDC reports in a health alert that the new microbes include bacteria known as Bacillus, and fungal species including Aspergillus tubingensis, Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium species and Penicillium species.
Although rare, some of the identified Bacillus species can be pathogenic in humans. Some of the fungal organisms identified, particularly Aspergillus fumigatus, are known to cause disease in humans. The CDC says it doesn't know how product contamination with these organisms could affect patients clinically.
The CDC has also reported that, although cases of fungal meningitis continue to be reported, more patients are have recently been presenting with evidence of other infections associated with contaminated steroid medication. Of the 91 cases reported to CDC since November 4, 26 (29%) were classified as meningitis, 61 (67%) had spinal or paraspinal epidural abscess or osteomyelitis, 2 (2%) had peripheral joint infection, and 2 (2%) had more than one condition. These complications have occurred in patients with and without evidence of fungal meningitis.
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