Bacteria strain resistant to all antibiotics detected
In the United States, health officials have now reported the fourth infection with a potentially fatal "super-germ". In July, the scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) identified a strain of Escherichia coli that did not respond to antibiotic treatment. Antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains could become a major threat to everyone in the world.
The researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now investigated the case of a girl suffering from fever and bloody diarrhea. The experts were able to determine that the patient was probably suffering from an antibiotic-resistant strain of Escherichia Coli. CDC doctors released a press release on the results of their investigation.
Child becomes infected with MCR-1 on vacation
The affected girl had developed an illness with fever and bloody diarrhea during her vacation in the Caribbean. These symptoms first appeared two days before the return trip to the United States, the authors explain. During the illness, the child went to an emergency room once. However, no admission to a hospital was necessary, say the doctors.
Investigation finds MRC-1
The doctors assumed that the child was probably suffering from a parasitic infection. For this reason, they used normal clinical treatment methods and performed a stool test, says Maroya Spalding Walters of the CDC. One of the organisms that were found in the study were the E. coli bacteria. These contained the so-called MCR-1 gene. MCR-1 is responsible for resistance to polymyxins. This form of antibiotic also includes colistin, for example, the experts explain. Doctors use it to treat infections that usually no longer respond to other medications. Doctors have been looking for new treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria for a long time.
You may be infected with MCR-1 without realizing it
Surprisingly, E. coli with the MCR-1 gene was not the cause of the diarrhea. It was other bacteria that caused the disease, the scientists say. A healthy person can also be infected with MCR-1 bacteria without noticing it or without feeling sick at all. If the bacteria only appear on a person's skin or intestines, those affected may not have any negative effects from the bacteria.
There are always better ways to detect MCR-1
There are now more and more possibilities with which MCR-1 can be determined easily and reliably. The genes will be identified with increasing frequency. It is very important to monitor the spread of MCR-1. MCR-1 can spread to other types of bacteria. This is one of the reasons why medical professionals need to step up their fight against antibiotic resistance.
How does a super germ develop?
When the gene spreads to bacteria that are already resistant to most other antibiotics, it creates a kind of super-germ. This would then show combined resistance to all forms of antibiotics, the authors explain.
MCR-1 continues to spread
MRC-1 was first detected in food, animals and people in China in 2015. Since this discovery, the gene has been identified in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and North America. In the United States, MCR-1 has now been identified in four patients with E. coli, the researchers say. So far, there has been one person affected in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. In addition, MCR-1 was found in two pig intestinal samples, the authors add.
The cause of infection in a woman from Pennsylvania is still unclear
The sick woman from Pennsylvania had not come into contact with cattle, nor had she recently traveled internationally. Scientists are unsure of how the woman became infected with MCR-1 bacteria. In the present case, the health authorities in Pennsylvania identified 20 contact persons with a high risk of infection. This included, for example, the family members. In addition, 78 people with a lower risk rate were found, the experts say. All those affected underwent a test. None of the risk contacts had the MCR-1 gene. CDC staff also examined four medical facilities where the sick woman was admitted last year. No resistant organisms were found here either, the authors say. (as)