Multistate Outbreak of Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-ß-lactamase (VIM)-producing Carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA) Associated with Artificial Tears

Official Message No.:111659-2-3-2023-PHAD
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The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Communicable Disease Service (CDS) is issuing a Health Advisory about infections with a rare drug-resistant strain of Verona Integron-mediated Metallo-ß-lactamase (VIM) and Guiana-Extended Spectrum-ß-Lactamase (GES)-producing carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (VIM-GES-CRPA) in 12 states, including New Jersey

Most case-patients reported using artificial tears. Patients reported more than 10 different brands of artificial tears, and some patients used multiple brands. The majority of patients who used artificial tears reported using EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free, over-the-counter product packaged in multidose bottles. CDC laboratory testing identified the presence of the outbreak strain in opened EzriCare bottles with different lot numbers collected from two states.

Per CDC guidance, patients and healthcare providers should immediately discontinue using EzriCare artificial tears pending additional guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Please see attached NJDOH LINCS message and the CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) message for more information. 

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