Kyoto hospital’s bacteria outbreak kills two patients


Two patients at Kyoto University Hospital have died over the past two months due to illnesses caused by their being infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the hospital affiliated with the state-run university said Thursday.

The bacteria is known as the multiple drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Hospital officials said one patient died in July and the other in August, one of bacteria-induced pneumonia and the other of blood poisoning also believed due to the bacteria infection.

Since 2001, 11 patients at the hospital have either been infected with the bacteria or have become carriers of it, the officials said. The two fatalities were among nine patients who were infected. The two carriers were discovered after the hospital conducted tests on roughly 50 patients in the latter half of August.

Eight of the 11 stayed in the same ward, while the three others are believed to have used the same endoscope for their treatment, possibly causing an infection, they said.

Two others who had the bacteria have also died, but of causes unrelated to the bacteria infection, the officials said.

The genetic makeup of the bacteria found in the 11 was identical, the officials said, adding the source of infection has yet to be determined.

Relatives of the victims were informed of the bacterial infection on Aug. 21, and the matter was reported to the health ministry on Aug. 23, hospital officials said.

“We are taking the infections seriously,” Toru Kita, the hospital’s deputy director, said.