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Illustration of C Difficile.

The Superbug Hitlist

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are considered the most urgent or serious threats

Here are the three most common infection problems, and others considered urgent or serious threats, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

C. difficile (Clostridium difficile): When antibiotics such as clindamycin wipe out bacteria that protect the colon, the patient is exposed to C. difficile, which inflames the colon and causes severe diarrhea. The CDC considers this an “urgent threat.”

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus): Can cause flesh-eating disease. Considered a “serious” threat by the CDC.

VRE (vancomycin-resistant Enterococci): Can cause sepsis, meningitis or pneumonia. Considered a “serious” threat.


Other Urgent Threats

CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae): Includes Klebsiella and E. coli. Can cause bloodstream infections, wound infections and pneumonia.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae: Sexually transmitted disease that can lead to chronic pain, infertility in men and women and life-threatening complications.


Other Serious Threats

ESBL (extended-spectrum beta lactamase): Can cause intestinal, urinary or respiratory symptoms.


Drug-resistant strains of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses, such as shigella, campylobacter and salmonella


Drug-resistant tuberculosis is resistant to the two most powerful first-line treatments used to treat this infection, which typically attacks the lungs.

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