14 Superbugs That You Should Know The Symptoms Of

When you hear the word “bug,” your mind might immediately jump to creepy crawly insects — and “superbug” may just sound like a much bigger, badder insect with some serious nightmare potential. There’s more to the superbug category than giant spiders, though — the term actually refers to strains of bacteria that are resistant to most of our modern antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic. At the risk of making you totally paranoid about the possibility of contracting one, I thought I should fill you in on superbugs that you should know the symptoms of.

Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)


.@JGallagher & Dr Porreca @TempleUniv discuss treatment options to address the threat of carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae. http://www.contagionlive.com/link/931 

This family of bacteria is typically found in your gut in a perfectly healthy state, according to WebMD, but certain types are resistant to antibiotics and, as a result, are responsible for a host of medical conditions. CRE is usually transmitted in hospitals or nursing homes (via medical equipment inserted into the body) and is typically not a problem for healthy people. When it is transmitted, though, CRE can cause life-threatening blood conditions for which there are no treatments.

Klebsiella Pneumoniae


A role for siderophores in Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogenesis, covered in mBiosphere: http://bit.ly/2cN352f 

If the name of this superbug looks familiar to you, it’s probably because it reminds you of the word pneumonia — which makes sense, since Klebsiella pneumoniae is the bacteria that can cause pneumonia in the lungs, per Live Science. It can be found in human mouths, intestines, and skin, and only becomes problematic in a compromised immune system. People who are in hospitals are especially prone to pneumonia, which is one of the reasons that the CDC recommends strict hygiene rituals for hospital patients and professionals.

Fluconazole-Resistant Candida

Fluconazole-resistant Candida is a bit of an outlier on this list since it’s technically a fungus — not a bacterium — but the CDC considers it a superbug because it’s becoming increasingly resistant to the drugs used to treat it, according to Reuters. When introduced to the bloodstream, Candida can cause serious infections to an already weak immune system.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus



Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterial infection that antibiotics don’t always stop. More information: http://wb.md/2GjJnMY 

Commonly known as MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has made periodic headlines over the years. According to WebMD, MRSA often infects people immediately after surgery, spreading from a wound to surrounding tissues and blood. More recently, you’ve probably heard concerns about outbreaks at schools, particularly among athletes, because the infection can spread via skin-to-skin contact. You’re more prone to get MRSA this way if you have a cut.

Drug-Resistant Campylobacter

ID News@InfectDisNews

A regulatory loophole in Colorado that lets residents drink raw milk led to an of at least a dozen cases of drug-resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections: https://goo.gl/3R36cs  @CDCgov @CDCMMWR

If you’ve ever experienced inexplicable GI symptoms after eating or drinking, they may have been caused by this bacteria. According to Reutersdrug-resistant campylobacter typically infects people through contaminated milk, water, or food. It causes all kinds of discomfort — diarrhea, cramps, and fever, to name a few.

Non-Typhoidal Salmonella

Take on Typhoid@PreventTyphoid

Researchers have developed an oral against non-typhoidal which infects nearly 100 million http://ow.ly/N37h307lzM5 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard of Salmonella mostly in reference to raw cookie dough, which should come as no surprise based on the Reutersdescription of this pathogen. Non-typhoidal Salmonella is a common food-borne bacteria that can be dangerous when it stops responding to antibiotics. The pathogen causes severe diarrhea, cramps, and fever.

Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia Coli


Management of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli‐infected children – coauthored by @CUAnschutz MD https://buff.ly/2nvKCAj 

As a group, Escherichia Coli are not necessarily bad for you, according to Live Science. The harmless strains live in the intestines of people and animals, and it’s only certain types that can cause problems like diarrhea, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and other respiratory illnesses. Shiga toxin-producing E.coli is one such harmful strain, and it’s transmitted to humans when they eat contaminated food, drink raw milk or contaminated water, or otherwise come in contact with infected, well, feces. (Gross.) Antibiotic treatments are discouraged for this strain.

Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs)

The name of this superbug is a mouthful, and it’s a broad category of bacteria that can produce an antibiotic-destroying enzyme, per Reuters. If you’ve ever had a UTI, it may have been caused by a strain of ESBL. More serious bloodstream and lung infections can also result when these pathogens are spread through improperly washed hands and surfaces or (less frequently) food.

Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

John Moffitt@JohnRMoffitt

The Neisseria gonorrhoeae is kind of pretty. Better known as the STD disease, Gonorrhea.

Maybe you didn’t know it was a superbug at the time, but you probably did learn about Neisseria gonorrhoeae in health class. This bacteria causes gonorrhea, which is transmitted sexually, according to WebMD. Hundreds of thousands of people get gonorrhea annually via sexual contact, and the once effective antibiotics are no longer a surefire way to cure it.

Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE)

Like other superbugs, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) aren’t necessarily problematic… until they are. Reuters notes that Enterococci can live in intestines and the female genital tract without causing any problems, but if they spread to the bloodstream or through a medical catheter, they can cause infection. Even vancomycin — an extremely powerful antibiotic — can’t fight certain strains.

Extensively Drug Resistant Tuberculosis


Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) reported in Romania: more cases may be expected, via @ECDC_TB http://ow.ly/pYIy305zqPW 

You may have gotten your share of tuberculosis vaccines over the years, but there is, in fact, a rare type of the disease that is resistant to multiple antibiotics. Per Live Science, TB is “a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs, but can spread to other organs.” It spreads through contaminated air, and people who have been infected with tuberculosis and don’t take their medication are more likely to contract the drug-resistant variety.

Clostridium Difficile

Pharmacy Times


Which Antibiotics Are Most Associated with Causing Clostridium difficile Diarrhea? http://bit.ly/2njnrIT 

People who are receiving medical care may be triggered to overgrow clostridium difficile — informally called C. diff — in the intestine, according to WebMD. Antibiotics and bacteria particles (left in bathrooms, on clothing, etc.) can also trigger overgrowth, which may cause life-threatening diarrhea.

Drug-Resistant Streptococcus Pneumoniae

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Streptococcus pneumoniae@Pneumonia1944

After looking at the gram stain they can see we have grown. However they may not know if it is ya yet because some other bacteria look very similar so they grow us on a blood agar to confirm it is us (streptococcus pneumoniae)

Per Reutersdrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause pneumonia, upper respiratory infections, and meningitis. It’s spread via human contact and becomes more problematic over time as certain strains develop resistance to multiple drugs.

Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter

Burroughs Wellcome Fund@BWFUND

Virulence switch in ‘Iraqibacter’: Potential Achilles heel?
Acinetobacter baumannii = hardy, causes hospital-associated infectionshttps://buff.ly/2K95F3f 

Multidrug-resistant acinetobacter is found in soil and water, but can also live on human skin, according to WebMD. One strain in particular — Acinetobacter baumannii — is especially concerning as a hospital germ for patients who are already sick.



By |2018-05-17T02:13:20+00:00May 17th, 2018|

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