Superbug: Klebsiella Pneumoniae

651 Words3 Pages
Superbug: Klebsiella pneumoniae In June of 2011, a woman entered the National Institutes of Health Research Hospital in Bethesda Maryland with a serious, but fairly routine infection; however the subsequent events were to prove anything but routine. The woman was suffering from an infection caused by an antibiotic-resistant organism, but it was a new strain, never before encountered. About a month after she was treated and discharged, another patient came down with the same infection, and then more and more. After many unsuccessful attempts to isolate the cause of the infections, the NIH eventually used a new technology, known as "Whole Genome Sequencing," to isolate the pattern of infection and bring it under control. (Melissa Block, Eddie Cornish) This process is a new way to quickly isolate and sequence the entire genome of a particular organism, which the NIH used to help identify the pattern of infection. Of the 17 other patients who contracted the infection, six died, but it was learned that the pathogen can be transmitted in ways never before seen. (Melissa Block, Eddie Cornish) The pathogen in the NPR story was called Klebsiella pneumoniae, which is a Gram-negative coccobacilli, relatively small, (0.5-0.8/ 1-2um), does not form spores, and is easily fixed. ("Klebsiella Pneumoniae Morphology") This pathogen is arranged either singly or in pairs and clusters, and can be cultivated on ordinary media. On agar media, the bacteria forms grayish-white colonies which
Open Document