MDRGN bacteria more prevalent than MRSA in long-term care facilities, new report suggests

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Multi-drug resistant gram-negative (MDRGN) bacteria could be overtaking methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA) as the number-one source of treatment-resistant infections in long-term care facilities, a recent report suggests.

According to researchers at Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research, MDRGN infections can lead to bloodstream infections, which, in turn, can cause tissue damage and, if left untreated, death. While analyzing more than 1,600 clinical cultures obtained from seniors at a large, urban facility, researchers found 11 cases of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), 104 cases of MRSA and 180 cases of MDRGN infection. Over the course of the two-year study, researchers noticed a near doubling of MDRGN infection rates, from 7% to 13%.

Roughly 80% of the discovered infectious strains were resistant to commonly prescribed treatments. All MDRGN bacteria are resistant to at least three common treatments, and one-third are resistant to four treatments. Up to half of long-term care populations could be harboring the bacteria, according to researchers. Risk factors include pressure ulcers, poor functional status, and exposure to antimicrobials, say researchers. Their report appears in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.