CDC and FDA advisory announces newly found contamination in NECC products

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a statement through the Health Alert Network announcing that additional microbial contamination has been found in products from the pharmacy at the center of a fungal meningitis outbreak.

The CDC, in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has continued testing medical products from the New England Compounding Center since the multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections began.

The FDA said that the results of the tests give additional support to their concerns about the sterility of all products produced at the NECC. Hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers have been warned not to use any products from the NECC.

The agencies reported finding additional contamination in unopened vials containing betamethasone, cardioplegia and triamcinolone solutions that were distributed and later recalled from the center. The contamination includes bother bacterial and fungal species.

Although instances are rare, the CDC reported that some of identified bacteria of the Bacillus species can be pathogenic in humans. Some of the fungal species, in particular Aspergillus fumigatus, are human pathogens. The CDC said it is unsure of how the contamination could affect those exposed.

Public health officials have not confirmed any reports of further illness caused by the additionally contaminated products.