CDC and FDA Tracking Outbreak of Drug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

The CDC and FDA are investigating the outbreak of VIM-GES-CRPA, a rare strain of extensively drug-resistant P. aeruginosa. 

As of early February, 56 patients across 12 states reported infections stemming from P. aeruginosa. The particular strain, carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa with Verona integron-mediated metallo-β-lactamase and Guiana extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (VIM-GES-CRPA), is associated with multiple types of infections, including eye infections.  

To date, one fatality has been reported. Five patients have reported vision loss.  

The CDC has identified use of artificial tears as a commonality between many patients, though not all. At this time, CDC and FDA recommend clinicians and patients stop using EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears products. 

Clinicians are invited to report any carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) from an ocular specimen or VIM-CRPA from any specimen source with collection dates since January 1, 2022, to their local or state health department’s healthcare-associated infections contact. Clinicians may also email [email protected] for assistance submitting specimens.