The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today detailed an unusual 255-case outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in 32 states tied to both beef and soft cheese and showing resistance to multiple antibiotics.

“Infections were linked to beef obtained in the United States and soft cheese obtained in Mexico, suggesting that this strain could be present in cattle in both countries,” the CDC said in an overview emailed to physicians as part of its Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) efforts.

“Antibiotic susceptibility testing showed that the strain had decreased susceptibility to azithromycin and nonsusceptibility to ciprofloxacin–two commonly prescribed oral antibiotics,” the agency added. “This leaves ceftriaxone, an injectable antibiotic, as the recommended treatment option.”

Ian Plumb, MBBS, lead author of a study on the outbreak today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), told CIDRAP News, “We are continuing to see cases occurring among patients. The antibiotic resistance pattern of this strain is alarming because the primary oral antibiotics used to treat patients with this type of Salmonella infection may not work.”

Plumb is an epidemiologist with the CDC’s Enteric Disease Branch. He and his colleagues in the MMWR update said oral azithromycin is also an option. Plumb added via email, “Most patients with Salmonella infections do not need antibiotic treatment, but some patients do, if there is severe disease, or if a clinician identifies risk factors for severe disease.”

He added, “The best way for clinicians to guide treatment is to test whether a bacteria is resistant for that individual patient.” Plumb also noted that the Infectious Diseases Society of America has published guidelines managing Salmonella infections here.

Image by Thorsten Frenzel from Pixabay

Sixty hospitalized, 2 dead

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