Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistance Gene Identified in China

November 18, 2015

Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistance Gene Identified in China — Implications "Enormous"

By Joe Elia

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

Polymyxin resistance, possibly caused by extensive use of colistin in meat production, has emerged in China, according to a study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The resistance factor, called MCR-1, is carried on a plasmid (a small, extrachromosomal piece of DNA in bacteria) and could be transferred between strains of E. coli. It has also occurred in other enterobacteria, including Klebsiella and Pseudomonas.

Samples of meat sold at retail in China showed an increased prevalence of the factor between 2011 and 2014. Sixteen hospitalized people also tested positive for MCR-1.

Commentators say that "the implications of this finding are enormous," warning that MCR-1 "will seriously limit the lifespan of the polymyxins as the backbone of regimens against multiply resistant Gram-negative bacilli."

- See more at:

"Emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance mechanism MCR-1 in animals and human beings in China: a microbiological and molecular biological study"

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