A New Castle County, Delaware man is the first known infection with New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM)–producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reported yesterday.


The  81-year-old man, with underlying conditions, is currently receiving medical treatment in Pennsylvania after being hospitalized in Delaware. In addition, there is also a second case of NDM-producing Pseudomonas in a Pennsylvania resident. Both individuals were hospitalized at the same location in Pennsylvania and investigation into the cases continue.

The  multidrug-resistant bacterial organism was first reported in Serbia. “NDM” is an antibiotic-resistant gene seen in different groups of bacteria, such as Enterobacteriaceae, in the US and elsewhere in the past several years, but this is the first time this gene has been reported in Pseudomonas in the US.

According to the Todar’s Online Textbook of Bacteriology, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen, meaning that it exploits some break in the host defenses to initiate an infection. In fact, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the epitome of an opportunistic pathogen of humans. The bacterium almost never infects uncompromised tissues, yet there is hardly any tissue that it cannot infect if the tissue defenses are compromised in some manner.

It causes urinary tract infections, respiratory system infections, dermatitis, soft tissue infections, bacteremia, bone and joint infections, gastrointestinal infections and a variety of systemic infections, particularly in patients with severe burns and in cancer and AIDS patients who are immunosuppressed. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

An estimated 51,000 healthcare-associated P. aeruginosa infections occur in the United States each year. More than 6,000 (13 percent) of these are multidrug-resistant, with roughly 400 deaths per year attributed to these infections. Antibiotic resistant infections are becoming increasingly common. DPH recommends limiting the use of antibiotics to only when necessary for illness and aggressive treatment for any detected multi-drug resistant cases.