Madam Therapeutics

South Africa: Klebsiella pneumoniae outbreak kills six newborns

An outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae at the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital that began several weeks ago has grown to a dozen neonatal infections, including six deaths as is reported by various news outlets.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is a bacterium that is known to cause different types of healthcare-associated infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, wound or surgical site infections. Due to their increasing resistance to a class of antibiotics known as carbapenems, some strains of Klebsiella bacteria can cause infections which can longer be treated by carbepenems.

Persons who are at risk for infections with carbapenem-resistant organisms such as Klebsiella are those who have severe illness, surgical patients, patients who stay in hospital for prolonged periods, persons undergoing organ or stem cell transplantation, persons in intensive care and those who are on mechanical ventilation. Although less common, some persons can also acquire infection in the community.

Madam Therapeutics is developing a new class of antibiotics (SAAPs) that has a much higher barrier to resistance development. Carbapenem-resistant organisms such as Klebsiella are to SAAP-148. SAAP-148 is in clinical development, and not yet available for clinical use.

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