According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, many of the shigellosis cases during Lexington’s 2005 day-care outbreak were resistant to multiple first-line antibiotics.

Yesterday’s MMWR, a publication from the Centers for Disease Control, included a report on antibiotic-resistant  Shigella outbreaks in Kentucky, Kansas, and Missouri.  The outbreaks were all caused by multi-drug-resistant strans of the Shigella bacterium, meaning individuals ill with Shigellosis, the illness caused by Shigella,  had to be treated with several different antibiotics before doctors were able to treat patients with a prescription drug that could kill the bacterium.

The Herald-Leader article reports that:

The CDC published the report to alert doctors that although the antibiotics ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole had been the drugs of choice for treating shigellosis, the bacteria is now often resistant to them. Ciprofloxacin is effective in knocking out the bacteria, but it’s not approved for use in children.

From May 1 to Aug. 31, 2005, 148 cases of shigellosis were confirmed in Fayette County — a 42-fold increase above the previous five-year averages. Ninety-three percent of the cases happened to children or staffers at 16 day-care centers in the county, or family members of the children.