By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on reports of infections caused by an antibiotic-resistant form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria linked to surgeries performed in Tijuana, Mexico, Utah health officials say a resident who undergone weight-loss surgery has died after testing positive for an antibiotic-resistant form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria (VIM-CRPA).


Eight Utahns, including the patient who died, have been infected or colonized with VIM-CRPA after traveling to Tijuana for similar surgical procedures. All of the other patients recovered.

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) interviewed the patients or their family members and discovered seven of the eight patients, including the patient who died, reported the same surgeon, Dr. Mario Almanza, performed their operations. Five of these patients reported they had been referred to Dr. Almanza through an online referral service known as Weight Loss Agents.

Travel warning: Drug-resistant Pseudomonas infections linked to surgeries in Tijuana, Mexico

Nationally, there have been reports of these highly antibiotic-resistant organisms in patients who received healthcare in Mexico. “We cannot provide any assurances of patient safety or quality of care to individuals who are considering undergoing such procedures in Tijuana,” said Dr. Allyn Nakashima, manager of the UDOH Healthcare-Associated Infections/Antimicrobial Resistant Program. “I cannot stress enough the safest course of action is not to travel to Mexico for these procedures. Using an internationally accredited facility is not a guarantee that your medical care will be free of complications.”

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Individuals who had a surgical procedure in Tijuana during or after August 2018 and are experiencing any of the following signs of infection should seek medical care immediately as serious complications may result without prompt treatment: fever; redness; pus or drainage from the surgical incision site or swelling at the surgical incision site.