Superbug Resistant to Last-Resort Antibiotic Arises in China

A wide variety of E. coli bacteria in China have developed resistance to a key antibiotic of last resort, a new study has revealed, a worrying development in the rise of so-called superbugs.


A second study released Friday, like the first published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, found the superbug is still uncommon in Chinese hospitals—though not a rare as experts might like.

The gene known as mcr-1—which has the capacity to move from one bacterium to another—was found in about 1 percent of E. coli bacteria and 1 percent of a bacteria, known as Klebsiella pneumoniae, that can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and wound infections.

Although that incidence was described as rare, it wasn’t especially reassuring to Lance Price, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University.

“One percent doesn’t sound huge, but for something that we didn’t know about a little more than a year ago and that is clearly a recently evolved [drug resistance] element, it’s pretty substantial,” said Price, who was not involved in the study.

The mcr-1 gene gives bacteria the ability to withstand treatment with a drug called colistin. It’s an old antibiotic that wasn’t used much for years because it has unpleasant side effects; other newer drugs were simply better. But with resistance to better drugs on the rise, colistin has taken on increasing importance in medicine.

In many places is it reserved for human use—and even then, only when absolutely needed. But China has been using it in agriculture, to speed growth of animals raised for meat.

In November 2015 scientists reported finding this gene in China, raising alarms around the world. Within a short span of time researchers elsewhere revealed they had looked for and found the gene in their stored bacteria collections.

An alarming feature of mcr-1 is that the gene moves easily from bug to bug and also from a family like E. coli to others, like Klebsiella pneumoniae.

The authors of the new paper reporting the incidence of the gene in hospital infections are from Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou.

Professor Timothy Walsh of the University of Cardiff was one of the discoverers of mcr-1 and is also an author of the paper that tracked the gene’s spread among E. coli bacteria.

“I think the takeaway message is that mcr-1 is very, very widely spread among many different types of E. coli and therefore is kind of pervasive, really, throughout Chinese communities,” Walsh told STAT.

And that picture could be about to get a lot worse.


Read more: SA

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Samuel Hay

    February 11, 2020 at 10:02 am

    January 22, 2020

    From: Samuel Hay
    Re: I HAD SARS

    As an ardent researcher in many different fields some discoveries over the years have purposely been hidden away to protect Big Pharma’s massive profits. Some of these discoveries, it utilized could, in addition to healing and creating an atmosphere of less suffering for millions of people worldwide, save our own Medicare and Medicaid programs.
    Getting right to it, first of all there is a solution called ‘silver colloid’ which quite simply is microscopic silver particles in water. The brand I used to cure my killer staph infection which had me in bed for three months, dying, only took ten days to completely cure. Living is a wetland area I later cured myself of Lyme Disease in two weeks using the same silver colloid. I can only recommend Mesosilver as my personal experience was with this particular brand.
    About forty years ago I discovered the properties of ozone in relation to fighting communicable disease. I had to build my own ozone machine. It and its replacements have run 24/7 for all this time. Although Big Pharma has most likely been the culprit in having the FDA issue a warning, Im 77 years old and healthy as a mule. No communicable disease in this household. When they first came on the market they were priced around $650.00 but today with mass production the average cost is around $100.00 and even less for smaller models which could be used in public bathrooms to eliminate all, I said “All” disease germs. Instantly kills the AIDS virus on contact for example and it would take at least 20 minutes in pure Clorox! Ozone will permeate every inch of homes/office.
    The ozone produced in the machine is a very small amount especially compared with a lightning storm. That lightning is what cleanses the atmosphere. Have you ever seen a sign that said, “Do not breathe while near a thunderstorm?” I don’t think so. Without a positive mentality to cure not just treat contagious disease, no clinical tests will ever be performed. If you were dying from a contagious repertory disease, would you want to give it a go? I absolutely would!
    Germs cannot, as with the silver, ever become immune and the Chinese are currently fearing a mutation of the germs creating a public health emergency there.
    In layman’s terms, the microscopic silver particles in water do not work the same way as antibiotics. When the bacteria or virus uses it to hydrate, it cuts their guts apart.
    The ozone produced by the machines is O3 allowing a very unstable electron to be pulled into the outer ring but is very unstable. When it comes in contact with other atoms it can be pulled away. In the event such nearby atoms are bacteria or virus, the germs are electrocuted on a microscopic scale.
    The essence of this exercise is to make public the potential of these two discoveries as preventative and curative properties. When I go out in large crowds I spray my throat and nostrils with the silver colloids in water. Simple as that. You can take the silver internally and also apply it externally to wounds.

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