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Ellen Klepac
Ellen Klepac
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Additional Bacteria and Fungi Found in NECC Drugs

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Both bacteria and fungi have been found in drugs produced by New England Compounding Center (NECC), the company responsible for the recent fungal meningitis outbreak, according to NBC News.

Most fungal meningitis cases have been caused by the fungus Exserohilum rostrum, but recent test findings by the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that two additional NECC drugs – and its facility – were contaminated with a slew of bacteria and fungi, according to the article.

Like the three lots of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate that caused the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak, the FDA has identified bacteria in three lots of preservative-free injectable betamethasone. Per the FDA’s website, those lots are:

  • 08202012@141;
  • 07032012@22; and
  • 07302012@52.

One lot (09242012@55) of cardioplegia solution was also contaminated with bacteria.

“Bacillus idriensis and Bacillus circulans have been rarely reported as a cause of human disease,” the FDA’s website stated. But as the Huffington Post reported on October 5, “The types of fungus linked to the [2012 fungal meningitis] outbreak are all around, but very rarely causes illness.”

According to the CDC’s latest tally, 428 cases of fungal meningitis have been confirmed, and 32 people have died.