Chennai: Doctors at the department of clinical microbiology, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, have identified a rare strain of hypervirulent bacteria that can cause blindness, meningitis and other severe infections.
The study by doctors was published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India revealed that the bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae, led to high mortality rate affecting 27 out of 86 patients treated at the hospital.
Carbapenem is a class of highly effective antibiotic agents used to treat high-risk bacterial infections. Infections caused by carbapenem resistant K. pneumoniae, isolated from various sources, are increasing and associated with high mortality rates.
However, there is limited data on the prevalence of these strains among carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae from invasive infections in India and its association with mortality. The study investigated the prevalence of highly infectious strains amongst carbapenem resistant K. pneumoniae isolated from blood culture. The study also determined the association of mortality rate with hypermucoviscous strains are determined.
String test was performed to detect hypermucoviscous K. pneumoniae that resulted in mortality rate of 84.2 percent. String test, aids prediction of disease severity, and is independently associated with increased mortality in invasive carbapenem resistant K.pneumoniae health care-acquired infections. The bacteria usually occur in patients who have a weak defense system such as diabetes, liver cirrhosis and meningitis. Authors of the study said that it is important to monitor prevalence of carbapenem resistant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae among invasive isolates especially in places with a high prevalence of infections such as hospitals.