Patients screened after 'difficult to treat' bug hits intensive care unit at Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast

Press/Media: Expert Comment


"...Patients in an intensive care unit in the Royal Victoria Hospital are still being screened for a rare infection described by the Chief Medical Officer as "difficult to treat and eradicate". The infection is caused by a multi-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria (MRAB)...


Miguel A Valvano, Professor of Microbiology at the Infectious Diseases Centre for Infection and Immunity at Queen's University Belfast, explained MRAB infections can occur in the bloodstream, skin and in the lungs.

"These infections are particularly important in hospitalised patients with medical conditions that weaken their immune system, and cause prolonged hospital stays," he said.

"Patients that require artificial devices (catheters, ventilators, dialysis), and especially those who are seriously ill, have the highest risk."

Prof Valvano added: "The most common form of A. baumannii infection is pneumonia, which occurs in patients under mechanical ventilation in intensive care units. Unlike healthy individuals, severely ill ventilated patients cannot properly cough and clear bacteria from the respiratory tract, so that colonisation of the airways via environmental exposure can lead to infection of the lungs."

He said infections by this bug were of "great concern" for public health because of multi-drug antibiotic resistance..."


Period25 Nov 2014

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