Nightmare Superbug Found In The USA. Health officials alarmed
When superbug mcr-1 reared its ugly head in China, little did the world know it would soon be visiting the US? In what appears to be the onset of an alarming trend of the superbug found in the US, a mcr-1 or drug resistant bacterium has now been discovered in the first case of a woman suffering from UTI with drug resistant E.coli infection.
What makes mcr-1 a super bug is its resistance to the highest level of last resort antibiotics like colistin which is used for the treatment of infections of a chronic and persistent nature.
1 The New Nightmare Bacteria Has Potential to Kill
US public health officials have confirmed the presence of the antibiotic resistant super bug in a 49-year-old woman living in Pennsylvania. Testing positive for E.Coli related urinary tract infection, medical labs found the presence of super bug mcr-1.
The superbug being termed ‘nightmare bacteria’ belongs to the CRE family of drug resistant germs where colistin makes little impact. Such superbugs can end up killing almost 50 percent of those infected. Thomas Friedan, Chief of The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled the recent discovery as a potent and dangerous threat to public health.
2 Bacteria’s Old Enemy Colistin Reintroduced in Hospitals
The unusual fact that the woman had never been out of the US proves that mcr-1 gene was acquired in the country. However, health experts feel that she may have come in contact with someone returning from a foreign country or a family member where common bacteria are likely to be present among members of a household.
Till now chronic infections have been treated by last resort antibiotic,colistin which commenced usage in 1959. It was used for treating stubborn infections such as E.coli, acinetobacter, salmonella and highly resistant infected wounds. Due to its high toxicity levels, it was stopped in the eighties; howevercolistin still remains in use in countries like China to treat livestock.
Colistin has recently been reintroduced for use in hospitals as a last resort treatment in the wake of bacteria, proving resistant to modern drugs and it may be required now, due to the superbug which has been found in the US. Frieden has issued a call for extensive research in inventing new antibiotics as well as finding better ways and means to use effective outdated drugs.
3 Medical Experts Feel No Cause for Alarm Just Yet
The big question remains that with the emergence of pan drug resistant bacteria on the rise, how exactly will this affect the general public. Dr. Yohei Doi, Doctor of infectious diseases at Pittsburgh University feels that it certainly is a cause for concern, but alarm bells should not be rung just yet, as this could be an isolated incident and not a widespread problem.
Doctor Yohei also stated that even now there are certain antibiotics available to treat such E.coli infections like carbapenems and in rare cases of superbug infection, treatments are available. He also mentioned that such superbugs are mainly acquired from eating under cooked pork. Ensuring proper hygiene while handling and cooking will do much to reduce the risk of any infection. Proper cooking does kill bacteria.
4 Drug Resistant Bacteria Found In Livestock Sample in US
Although this is the first human case of mcr-1, the agriculture department had also located a colistin resistant strain of bacteria in a sample taken from apig’s intestine. This was confirmed by the Department of Health and Human Service. The USDA is making all attempts to locate the farm from where the sample was found in order to investigate further if other animals could possibly be infected.
According to the CDC almost 23000 people succumb to drug resistant bacterial infection every year out of a total of 2 million cases of bacterial infection found yearly.