A drug-resistant bacteria linked to recalled eye drops has now killed three people.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa had led to two additional deaths.
In all, 68 people have become infected in 16 states. Eight of the patients have lost their vision. Four people have had to have their eyeballs removed.
Three eye products have been recalled from Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited in India. They were sold online, at stores and provided through ophthalmologist offices.
While the P. aeruginosa strain involved in the recalls is resistant to 12 antibiotics, there may be new hope for treating it.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, say they have identified a bacteriophage that has potential for working on the bacteria, CBS News reported. “Phage” treatments send viruses in to attack the drug-resistant bacteria.
The university's Center for Innovative Phage Applications has previously reported on therapies it developed to save patients with drug-resistant infections, CBS News reported.
The center did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment. It's not known how many patients have been treated with the phage identified for this bacteria.
In unrelated contamination incidents, two additional eye products from other manufacturers have been recently recalled, CBS News reported.
The National Library of Medicine has more on the bacteria involved in the recent eye infections.
SOURCE: CBS News