Military physicians have reported that the most dreaded superbug, resistant to all antibiotics has reached the United States.
A 49-year-old woman suffering from urinary tract infection was found to carry the deadly strain of the bacteria. This strain showed resistance to a powerful antibiotic called as colistin.
‘A deadly family of bacteria, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE-positive with mcr-1 gene resistant to colistin has been identified in the urinary tract of a woman in the United States.’
Colistin is kept as a reserve for bacterial infections caused by a dangerous type of superbugs called as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE.
CRE bacteria contains the mcr-1 gene resistant to colistin, which was first identified in China last year. It has also spread to Europe and Canada. The mcr-1 gene can transfer resistance by plasmids to various bacteria such as e.coli, klebsiella, pseudomonas, etc.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called CRE among the country's most urgent public health threats. These can widely spread among patients in the intensive care unit, hospitals and patients having a catheter.
"Colistin is one of the last efficacious antibiotics for the treatment of highly resistant bacteria. The emergence of a transferable gene that confers resistance to this vital antibiotic is extremely disturbing," Dr. Patrick McGann, of the Multidrug Resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), said in the report published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
"The discovery of this gene in the U.S. is equally concerning, and continued surveillance to identify reservoirs of this gene within the military health care community and beyond is critical to prevent its spread."