Venezuelan regional newspaper, El Impulso reported this week in an investigative report (computer translated), an outbreak of the bacterium, Serratia marcescens among children admitted at Agustín Zubillaga Pediatric Hospital in Barquisimeto, Lara state, in northwestern Venezuela.

Serratia marcescens/CDC
Serratia marcescens/CDC

According to the report, between January and March of 2018, there were 28 confirmed cases of severe infection by the bacteria (mostly neonates and less than 1 year old).

Of the 28 people who presented Serratia marcescens, 11 died: more than half were suffering from malnutrition. One child had severe burns on his body. There were also 7 patients with an acute infection (Necrotizing Fasciitis) in their limbs, which evolved rapidly, until destroying the soft tissues.

100% of Serratia marcescens strains isolated  produced enzymes ESBL (Extended Spectrum Betalactamases), AMPc (Cyclic Adenosinemonophosphate) and NDM (New Delhi Metallobetalactamase), causing resistance to the antibiotics Levofloxacin, Tygeciclina and Amikacin.

According to the website,, Serratia marcescens is an opportunistic pathogen whose clinical significance has been appreciated only in the last four decades. While S.  marcescens is a rare cause of community-acquired infections, it has emerged as an important nosocomial healthcare-associated pathogen and a frequent source of outbreaks of hospital infection, in both adult and pediatric patients.

S. marcescens is implicated in a wide range of serious infections including pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, bloodstream infection, wound infection and meningitis. The organism has also been described as an important cause of ocular infection with high incidence in contact lens-related keratitis.