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Case Studies

Using CDC’s Containment Strategy and recent lab and prevention enhancements in every state, CDC, health departments, hospital microbiologists and epidemiologists, doctors and nurses, and infection control staff can take swift action when unusual resistance emerges.

  • Health departments working with CDC’s AR Lab Network, mobilized nationwide in 2017, uncovered more than 221 instances of germs with unusual resistance to antibiotics in the United States in the last year.
  •  1 in 4 germ samples sent to the AR lab network for testing had  special genes that allow them to spread their resistance to other germs.
  • Further investigation in facilities with unusual resistance revealed that about 1 in 10 screening tests, from patients without symptoms, identified a hard-to-treat germ that spreads easily.  This means the germ could have spread in that health care facility undetected.


Containment Strategy in Action

Rapid Response in Tennessee

  • Health department identified an unusual resistance germ in a patient who recently received health care outside the US.
  • Health department and the facility in Tennessee did infection control assessments and colonization screenings within 48 hours. No spread found.
  • Moving forward, CDC’s AR Lab Network regional labs expanded services to test patients in the US with recent health care outside the country.


Ongoing Vigilance in Iowa

  • Health department identified an unusual resistance germ in a nursing home patient.
  • Health department and the facility did infection control assessments and screened 30 patients for colonization. Investigation revealed the germ may have spread to 5 additional people.
  • Facility used infection control and contact precautions, such as gloves and gowns, to help stop spread.
  • No spread found during follow-up assessments.