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British Lung Foundation
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Serratia marcescens

Hello there, does anyone here have any experience with the bacteria serratia marcescens?

My dad has COPD and gets different bacterial infections all the time. Usually these are dealt with by his regular IV treatments or failing that a course of the appropriate tablets. Lately though he has had repeated infection with serratia which seems to be resistant to almost everything.

He's managed to clear it a couple of times in the past with a week of Septrin tablets (co- trimoxazole) but this last infection didn't succumb to the treatment. We'd have liked to continue the tablets for another week but Septrin is a pretty powerful drug and Dad is so thin and weak and in his 80's. It was a dilemma of which would do him more harm- to leave the serratia bugs to wreak havoc in his lungs or to have more Septrin.


Does anyone know an effective drug for this horrible bug that is so tough it can apparently live in disinfectant! How can I kill it WITHOUT killing my dad?

From my attempts at research on the Internet it looked to me like IV Meropenem might be the most effective choice?

Any wisdom and experience would be appreciated.

3 Replies

Crikey flibberti, that sounds like quite an extensive and prolonged regime you had to go on to get rid of the serratia infection. It really does seem to be a tough and persistent bug. I'm glad you finally conquered it, just hope I can find a way to help Dad do the same.

I'm going to ring and try to get an appointment with Dads consultant as soon as possible and ask him to set out the options. I'll definitely ask about the possibility of a course of the nebulised gentamicin. I really like the idea of a treatment that doesn't involve more needles!

Thanks very much for your very helpful reply,

Hope you keep well,

All the best,



I have no experience of that particular bug but just wanted to tell you thatI had two weeks IV Meropenim last November after being extremely ill for several months. It was a huge help and I didn't experience any side effects with it.


Thanks for that Argana,

It's good to know, cos if you read the possible side-effects it's enough to put you right off. It's so hard when the cures are scarier than the disease!

Wishing you good health,



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