(Mirror Daily, United States) – Recent research has shown that a possible superbug gene has been found in a woman in U.S. This terrifying discovery may come from the abuse of antibiotics. Scientists have long suspected that the overuse of antibiotics may eventually lead to such an infection.
The new gene was found in an E. coli bacteria and immediately caught the attention of the scientists and doctors. This gene can be found not just in the E. coli bug but also in almost any bacteria. Researchers called it mcr-1 after it was discovered in a woman from Pennsylvania.
The reason why they are concerned is that these plasmids, which are pieces of DNA, are able to move from a bacteria to another, thus being able to develop further into a virulent strain that could be hard to cure and very dangerous, possibly deadly.
However, the problem is not the gene itself but the fact that it starts to become active against Colistin, a rare antibiotic that is used only in extreme cases because it can harm the kidneys. What is concerning is that due to this gene, this kind of treatment would no longer be a viable option for those who need it.
Plus, mcr-1 can spread very fast into the public and through hospitals. According to Dr. Patrick McGann, Colistin is a strong antibiotic that is used to deal with very resistant bacteria. Nevertheless, the fact that there might be a transferable gene that turns out to be resistant to this crucial antibiotic is very concerning. The investigation continues in order to detect where is the origin of this gene, especially inside the military healthcare community.
According to Dr. McGann, health officials have already taken measures to prevent and tackle the spread of mcr-1. Plus, active surveillance is ongoing to identify early the originating source of mcr-1 and other MDROs (multidrug-resistant organisms). Moreover, scientists have enough information and samples that will help them detect any MDRO and to provide the best medication against them.
Most important, scientists will now be able to come up with better solutions to deal with this gene. This strategy is a crucial part of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (CARB), and it is recognized as a model program by the White House as well.
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