Doctors have grown increasingly concerned about resistant strains of Escherichia coli (E coli). It has been observed that previously healthy patients who have not been in hospital were infected with a newer form of E coli that is more stubborn than the existing ones.
E. coli organisms are commonly found in the stomach. They can be harmless, though some types can cause illness. They are usually passed through contaminated food or water, or from infected people. E.coli bacteria can cause food poisoning and is also found to be the cause for some urinary tract infections and stomach disorders.
Recent studies have shown that the E.coli bug is changing and increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotics.
Researchers have warned that an increasing number of E coli strains resistant to antibiotics are being discovered in many countries, including the UK.
Writing in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, the Canadian team of researchers called for improvements in tracking and monitoring of the resistant E coli, which, they warn, could be increasingly acquired in the community.
They found that surveys conducted in many countries, including the UK, Spain, Italy, Greece and Canada, showed a trend towards E coli developing resistance to a variety of antibiotics. This could complicate their treatment.
Johann Pitout, from the University of Calgary in Canada, said: "These bacteria have become widely prevalent in the community setting in certain areas of the world and they are most likely being imported into the hospital setting."