More bacteria found in NECC products

Laboratory results of additional product samples taken from the pharmacy responsible for an outbreak of fungal meningitis recently tested positive for bacterial contamination.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced that its labs, as well as labs from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identified bacteria in samples of recalled betamethasone and cardiopeligia from the pharmacy.

The FDA said that the results of the tests give additional support to its concerns about the sterility of all products produced at the New England Compounding Center. Hospitals, clinics and health care providers were warned not to use any products from the NECC.

The test results showed bacteria present in three separate lots of NECC-supplied preservative-free betamethasone. Each lot produced a different culture result. A single lot of cardiopeligia also tested positive.

The death toll from the outbreak recently rose to 29, with the latest fatality occurring in Virginia. The CDC has confirmed 54 cases of fungal meningitis in people who received steroid injections supplied by NECC in their back. An additional 350 people have contracted related infections in joints where they received injections. Some have suffered strokes believed to be associated with the illness, according to the Los Angeles Times.