Surgeries in Mexico Linked to Antibiotic-Resistant Infections
By David Doolittle


Several Americans have developed antibiotic-resistant infections after undergoing invasive medical procedures in Mexico, health officials warned recently.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 10 Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-β-lactamase-producing, carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-CRPA) infections among adult patients returning to the United States. Seven patients reported receiving bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Baja California, from September to November. 

“For those with signs of infection, U.S. health care providers should obtain cultures, perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing to guide treatment, and have any carbapenem-resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacteriaceae tested for VIM and other plasmid-mediated carbapenemases,” the CDC said. “Additionally, please report to your local or state health department any carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa surgical site infections in patients following invasive procedures in Mexico.”

CDC recommends patients who are admitted to health care facilities in the United States following an overnight stay in a facility outside the country undergo rectal screening for carbapenemase-producing organisms. That testing is available free of charge via the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network.

Physicians should also make patients aware of the risks associated with medical tourism, including infections caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria not commonly seen in the United States. 

Last Updated On

January 15, 2019

Originally Published On

January 15, 2019

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David Doolittle


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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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