Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gene that resists last resort antibiotics discovered

Contributed by Siddarth David & Dr. Tamhankar

Scientists in China have found increased levels of resistance to an antimicrobial drug colistin a polymyxin used when other drugs have failed, according to a report in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. The study analyzed various samples taken from patients who had presented infections in two hospitals.

The researchers found that colistin resistance was caused by a gene called MCR-1. This gene was found on a piece of bacterial DNA that can be transferred between bacteria. The study found the MCR-1 gene in E. coli collected from 15% of raw meat samples and 21% of animals tested from 2011-14. The gene was also found in E. coli from 1% of hospital inpatients in China.

The study recommends that the use of polymixin should be restricted in agriculture, as we could end up with a situation where doctors are forced to say, "Sorry, there is nothing I can do to cure your infection". This finding critically underscores the need for better surveillance, strategies for judicious use of antibiotic and development of national antibiotic protocols across countries. 

Read The ``TRUE LIFE STORY``of a family infected with MRSA