Kamis, 27 Mei 2010

Microbiologic myopia

Today's New York Times has an article on toxigenic E. coli strains that cause severe foodborne illness. While many people are familiar with the H7:O157 strain, there are six other similar strains that have been largely ignored and have escaped regulation. Kudos to the New York Times for putting this story above the fold on the front page. As I read this article, I couldn't help but think how closely this parallels the situation in hospital epidemiology, where laws continue to be passed to test patients for MRSA, while untreatable gram-negative infections are ignored. Cynically, I suspect that as soon as there's a rapid test for KPCs, there will be the sudden discovery of a crisis, and we'll have new laws to test all patients for these organisms.

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