Antipodean superbugs infect Swiss hospitals

Antipodean superbugs infect Swiss hospitals

Originally published on Swissinfo.ch

The VRE strain of bacteria are resistant to conventional vancomycin and other glycopeptide antibiotics. They are identical to the strain that has caused infections in hospitals in Australia and New Zealand over the past five to six years, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). It is likely that the VRE were introduced into Switzerland by people coming from these regions or having travelled there. 

VRE can cause infections, especially in those whose immunity has been compromised by other infections. Serious consequences include a form of blood poisoning for example. Therapy is severely limited due to multiple antibiotic resistance. 

More than 150 patients in Switzerland have been infected with VRE, and 90% of them had the bacteria without showing any symptoms. Infection developed in only a few cases, which could be treated with the antibiotic daptomycin. 

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