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Death from an untreatable infection may signal the start of the post-antibiotic era

Med J Aust 2017; 206 (7): 292-293. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00077

The ASID perspective on the most important infectious diseases problem of 2017 and beyond

On 12 January 2017, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that a woman in Nevada had died from an untreatable Gram-negative infection resistant to all available classes of antibiotics.1 The woman had sustained a fractured femur, complicated by osteomyelitis, while travelling in India, necessitating hospitalisation and intravenous antibiotic treatment. After returning to the US in mid-2016, she was admitted to hospital with systemic inflammatory response syndrome, probably secondary to a hip seroma that developed after the earlier surgery, and a pan-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae was isolated from a tissue specimen; the woman died of untreatable septic shock.

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  • Cheryl A Jones1,2,3,4,0
  • Joshua S Davis4,5,6,0
  • David FM Looke3,7,8

  • 1 Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 4 Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID), Sydney, NSW
  • 5 Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, NT
  • 6 John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW
  • 7 Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD
  • 8 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD

Correspondence: cheryl.jones@rch.org.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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