A new patient who carried a type of bacteria that is resistant to an antibiotic has been identified. The number of cases reported in the United States increased to four.
The patients had E.coli with a gene called MCR-1, which makes the bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘The E coli bacteria containing the MCR-1 gene have been found in farm animals, but it isn't clear how people get the bacteria.’
A two-year-old Connecticut girl, was diagnosed MCR-1 in June after she returned from a trip to the Caribbean.
"The girl had an illness that caused diarrhea, which began in mid-June while she was traveling overseas. Her diarrhea was not caused by the bacteria that had the mcr-1 gene -- the cause has not been definitively diagnosed," said senior researcher Maroya Spalding Walters, a CDC epidemiologist.
The MCR-1 gene did not produce toxins. When the girl got better, the bacteria that contained the gene disappeared within a week of her recovery.
"Fortunately, none of these infections has spread beyond the original patient," Walters said.
"Still, MCR-1 is resistant to colistin, which is reserved to treat severe infections that are resistant to other antibiotics.We have seen colistin resistance in the past, but what makes this MCR-1 gene so important is that it can be transmitted between different types of bacteria," Walters explained.
"The concern is that it could move into bacteria that are already highly resistant and could render them resistant to all antibiotics, but we have not seen this in the U.S.," she said.