Although the bacteria is considered multi-drug resistant, antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of at least 6 isolates in Wisconsin shows that most are susceptible to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, fluoroquinolones, and piperacillin/tazobactam. Combination treatment, rather than monotherapy, with these agents is most effective; adding vancomycin may benefit some cases
Although 18 patients have died who tested positive for the infection, it is currently unknown whether the cause of death was the infection, the patients underlying health condition, or a combination of both. The index of suspicion is greatest among patients with malignancy, diabetes, chronic renal disease or end-stage renal disease on dialysis, alcohol dependence, cirrhosis, and immune compromising conditions or those on immunosuppressive therapy.
Normally, the number of Elizabethkingia infection cases average between 5 to 10 per year, per state. The majority of those infected in the present outbreak are over 65-years old and none are children. Investigators are interviewing infected patients to find any common trends, while laboratory tests were conducted on health care products, water sources and the environment though none have found to be the source of the bacteria.
For more information visit DHS.Wisconsin.gov.