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Superbugs causing worry in U.S.

October 22, 2010

Superbugs are on the move.

The KPC bacterium (short for Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase) has proven to be stubbornly resistant to pretty powerful antibiotics -- and increasingly worrisome to U.S. doctors and healthcare.

"Although the number of infections is small, the fact that so many places are seeing KPCs is very concerning," Dr. Robert Weinstein told the Chicago Tribune. That newspaper offers a local look at what has the potential to become a national problem. Read the full story at "Drug-resistant bacterium raises alarms in Chicago."

This particular superbug made its U.S. debut in North Carolina more than a decade ago and has since been discovered in 35 states.

But a new invader and close cousin of KPC, NDM-1 (short for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase), arrived in the United States this summer. The bug is more common in India and Pakistan but three cases were reported in North America, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

For more information on superbugs, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report "NDM-1: New route, same destination – untreatable infections."

--Mary Forgione / For the Los Angeles Times

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