Outbreak of drug resistant bug in Limerick

[Posted: Wed 16/03/2011 by Deborah Condon -]

Visiting restrictions have been put in place at Limerick Regional Hospital following an outbreak of a highly drug resistant bug known as KPC.

KPC (klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase) is an enzyme produced by variants of the common bacterium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, which live on the skin and in the mouth and guts of humans. These can cause pneumonia and urinary tract infections.

"KPC-producing bacteria are a common type of bacterium that has evolved into a major challenge for infection control, as infections associated with these organisms are difficult to treat because most strains are resistant to the majority of our usual antibiotics. Prevention of infection is key," a spokesperson for the hospital explained.

There have been six probable cases of cross-transmission of the organism at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle...