The final of the four Singapore papers in the May supplementary issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, and by no means the least, focused on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in inpatients from public hospitals in Singapore. The majority of the data are from a cohort study, aptly titled CaPES (Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Singapore), initiated in 2013 to […]

As the number of persons with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and/or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) colonisation or prior infection increases – both among locals and foreigners – there will be inevitably more of such colonised/infected persons that will have medical indications for high risk procedures such as organ or stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The issue at hand is […]

The inaugural Courage Fund ID Conference kicked off yesterday evening with a series of plenary lectures at the Marina Mandarin Hotel in Singapore. This clinical and basic science infectious diseases conference is a first for Singapore in many ways: It was organised in partnership by the Singapore Infectious Diseases Initiative, the Institute for Infectious Diseases […]

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) looks set to becoming Singapore’s biggest antibiotic-resistant bacterial challenge for the immediate future, even more so than other members of the multidrug-resistant bacteria “alphabet soup”, viz. MRSA, VRE, XDR-AB, XDR-PA, etc. What is one unexpected consequence of having patients with CRE in our hospitals? Well, it gets into our sewage system. I have […]

I had some time to reflect after finishing a rather interesting meeting in Thailand organised by a pharmaceutical company. In their usual way, the company had invited representatives from different countries in the region to obtain perspectives on the issue of antimicrobial resistance – specifically carbapenem resistance and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) – in our countries. Naturally, they […]

A middle-aged woman from Bangladesh sought treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in Singapore. Her diagnosis was first made in a hospital in Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh), where she stayed for 10 days prior to her transfer here. She had presented with fever, muscle aches and increasing fatigue, and had received antibiotics for unremitting […]

An unusual post in the Sports pages of the Straits Times today, highlighting the finding of superbugs in the Rio de Janeiro bay where the 2016 Olympics sailing and surfing competitions will be held (unfortunately behind the ST pay wall). It is a remarkable thing to find an article on antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the ST, […]

Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex (A. baumannii for short) are Gram-negative bacteria that are found in the soil and environment, and are better known among the hospital medical community as opportunistic pathogens that are also highly antimicrobial resistant. Because of the ability of some strains to break down hydrocarbons, including diesel and crude oil, A. baumannii have also been tested […]

Carbapenemases are bacterial enzymes that break down the carbapenem class of antibiotics. As previously mentioned, these are some of the most powerful and broad-spectrum antibiotics, used for treatment of life-threatening infections and those infections caused by multidrug-resistant nosocomial bacteria. The majority of these carbapenemases are found in Gram-negative bacteria that are not able to catabolize […]

In the Sunday Times today, Editor at Large Han Fook Kwang wrote on the issue of overcharging by doctors and the healthcare industry, with one of the points being how the promotion of medical tourism in Singapore had perhaps also helped to promote such a culture (“Doctors v Doctors” – behind a paywall so I won’t […]