Interactive Timeline:



At least one death can be linked to Mycobacterium chelonea.


Jul 1990

Central nervous system (CNS) infection is a rare complication of endoscopic injection sclerotherapy (EIS) for esophageal varices. We report two patients, one of whom developed a solitary brain abscess, and the other, acute meningitis, after EIS. They presented with high fever initially, and then with changes in mental status.


December 1990

“Over two weeks we found acid fast bacilli in bronchial washings from four patients at risk of mycobacterial disease: one had bronchiectasis and three had disease conforming to the World Health Organisation definition of AIDS.”

At least 14 documented cases of Mycobacterium can be traced to endoscopes that were cleaned according to CDC/professional recommendations and not FDA guidelines.


November 1995

Several patients were diagnosed with multiply drug resistant Tuberculosis in South Carolina over a seven month period, and their cases were linked to contaminated endoscopes.



The New York State Department of Health identified three separate clusters of infectious diseases traced to improper or insufficient cleaning methodology.


October 1998

A study at an academic medical center shows M chelonae, M mesophilicum, gram‐negative bacteria, and various molds grew from endoscopes, automated washers, and glutaraldehyde from the washers.


August 1999

Five M tuberculosis-positive bronchial washing culture findings were noted in patients who underwent bronchoscopy in July in a hospital that reported only eight M tuberculosis-positive culture findings from 1995 to 1998, prompting further investigation.



July 2012

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center — also known as “UPMC” — linked a bacterial “superbug” outbreak in 2012 to the inadequate reprocessing of contaminated gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes, according to the hospital officials, with “reprocessing” being defined as the cleaning and high-level disinfection of reusable medical equipment.



A duodenoscope has been linked to an outbreak at a Wisconsin medical facility that infected five people.


September 2013

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois has identified 38 patients who have tested positive for an emerging strain of CRE, which are bacteria that are resistant to a class of antibiotics used as a last-resort treatment for seriously ill people, associated with a specific endoscopic procedure.


June 2014

The Thomas Jefferson University Hospital was struck by an outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria associated with the use of a special kind of hard-to-clean endoscope, according to city data. Eight people examined with the scopes became infected with bacteria and two died, the city Department of Public Health said.


January 2015

At least seven people — two of whom died — have been infected with a potentially lethal, antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria after undergoing endoscopic procedures at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center between October and January. More than 170 other patients may also have been exposed, hospital officials said.


March 2015

In the latest superbug outbreak, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center discovered that four patients were infected with deadly bacteria from a contaminated medical scope, and 67 other people may have been exposed.


August 2015

Virginia Mason Medical Center detected 39 infections and 18 deaths linked to the outbreak between 2012 and 2014, did not file a required report with the state system that tracks dangerous and deadly adverse events.