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Can Someone with a Superbug Transmit it to Me?

Jason C. Gallagher, PharmD, FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS, President, Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists, shares what is known about the Pennsylvania superbug case and whether or not others can be infected.

Jason C. Gallagher, PharmD, FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS, President, Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists, shares what is known about the Pennsylvania superbug case and whether or not others can be infected.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“We do know that both [the] [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] and the [Pennsylvania] Department of Health are looking into [the superbug case] but what’s most important to know is that, we only know that this resistance is there if we look for it. Colistin-testing is not done [on] [Escherichia] coli most of the time. This [case] was only found because the clinic sent [the sample] to a reference lab at [the] Walter Reed [National Military] Medical Center. If they hadn’t done that, the [resistance] would not have been [detected].

The big question here, the ‘elephant in the room,’ is how often is this resistance present and [undetected] because we aren’t [testing for it].”