Health & Science

Abundance of Uncommon Superbug Strain Found In Greater Houston

A Houston Methodist study has discovered and uncommon strain of a ‘Superbug’ in Houston

James M Musser, M.D. Ph.D explains his research


During a study at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, the use of genome sequencing revealed that an uncommon superbug strain was present in more that one-third of the patients studied. 

The strain known as ‘Klebsiella pneumoniae’ is considered a superbug because it is resistant to many commonly known antibiotics. 

In a press release by Houston Methodist, James M. Musser, M.D., Ph.D., and senior author and chair of the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist Hospital, said that “Finding the otherwise uncommon strain in our city was a very surprising discovery.”

Musser went on to say that how this strain made its way to Houston is still a mystery. 

Klebsiella pneumoniae can cause very serious infections in hospitalized patients. It can cause a range of illnesses from pneumonia, wound infections, urinary tract infection, and meningitis.

While ‘Klebsiella pneumoniae’ does have a certain level of antibiotic resistance, the strain found in Houston will still respond to certain antibiotics.

Musser stated that “because Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common and important cause of human infections, we urgently need to identify potential vaccine targets or other new treatments, and develop new and rapid diagnostic techniques.”