‘We can still contain this superbug’

“Don’t freak out, wash your hands, be careful in health care settings to observe all infection control requirements.”
– Andrew Read, director of Penn State’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics

Late last week, researchers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center published a paper revealing that a woman in Pennsylvania was infected with a strain of antibiotic resistant E. coli, the first known incident in the United States. Although the patient in this case recovered, the finding raises the possibility of a “superbug” that could cause untreatable infections.

In the videos below, Penn State infectious disease experts offer comment.

“…this sort of thing we fear, this superbug, we can still contain it. So long as we start doing things sensibly, start looking for alternative solutions, start getting this hygiene right, making sure we’re using the drugs only when we need to.”
-Andrew Read

Andrew Read is an evolutionary biologist who studies antibiotic resistance and pathogen evolution. Read is the director of Penn State’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Contact information: afr3@psu.edu, 814-863-4444

“It indicates that [antibiotic resistance] is much wider spread than we had feared.”
– Kenneth Keiler, Penn State molecular biologist

Kenneth Keiler is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology who leads several ongoing projects to develop advanced antibiotic compounds. Keiler’s most recent work was carried out at the Eva J. Pell Laboratory for Advanced Biological Studies. Research conducted in this laboratory focuses on diagnosis, prevention, and therapies against highly infectious diseases.

Contact information: kkeiler@psu.edu, 814-863-0787

Videos available for use with attribution. Download here.

For more information, contact Penn State News and Media Relations:  814-865-7517

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