For the first time in history, United States officials have discovered evidence of a bacteria resistant to antibiotics. A 49-year old patient from Pennsylvania developed an antibiotic-resistant strain of E. Coli which cannot be killed by any existing antibodies, reported Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
US officials in the Ministry of Health reported the first registered case of super-bacteria infection that is resistant to many antibiotics, including colistin – a last resort drug that is given as a last hope against a range of bacterial infections in humans and livestock.
“We are at risk of a post-antibiotic world!“, said Thomas Frieden. Although the strain found in the woman can still be treated with other antibiotics, researchers worry that its colistin-resistance gene, known as MCR-1, could spread to other bacteria that can already evade other antibiotics.
CRE infections are almost impossible to treat and can quickly become deadly. One report suggests that this kind of infection can result in the deaths of half the patients who become infected.
The dangerous gene has been also found in other countries, including China, Italy, and the United Kingdom, but the Pennsylvania woman had not traveled outside the U.S. in the last couple of months, the article’s authors noted.
Louise Slaughter, a microbiologist, noted in a statement on Thursday that “swift, aggressive, global action” was needed to prevent and stop the spread.
“I have been sounding the alarm for years, and now, what we’ve been dreading has happened – we have an antibiotic-resistant superbug that can’t be killed by any known drug,” she said.
So go wash your hands, but try to reach for the Clorox this time.
Note: This article contains material from BuzzFeed