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Scientists have discovered a bacterial gene resistant to the "last chance" antibiotic - colistin. It is a medicine used to treat infections that are resistant to any other type of antibiotic. This means that soon there will be nothing to cure bacterial infections, and the simplest infections will lead to death.

Scientists have discovered theresistance geneto a "last chance" antibiotic -colistin , belonging to a class of antibiotics called polymyxins. Until now, it was the only group of antibiotics that could overcome any, even the most resistant, bacterial infection. Of all the antibiotics in this group, colistin was used most often.

Colistin resistance gene

The colistin resistance gene, called the MCR-1 gene, was discovered by scientists at the South China Agricultural Academy in Guangzhougen. As researchers argue, bacteria with this gene are very dangerous for several reasons:

  • may be resistant not only to colistin, but also to the entire group of polymyxins and other antibiotics
  • are able to pass the "resistance gene" to other bacteria (including other species), including common ones, making them resistant to all drugs as well. The MCR-1 gene has already been found in E. coli (coliform bacteria),Klebsiella pneumoniae(pneumoniae bacillus) andPseudomonas aeruginosa(blue oil rod) ), the bacteria responsible for most urinary and digestive system infections. This means that in the future, doctors may not be able to heal the simplest of infections

The cause of the mutation is the use of colistin, intended for the treatment of humans, in farm animals. Colistin is administered to pigs and chickens almost all over the world to help increase their weight. In this way, the antibiotic was released from the farms into the environment, where the bacteria gradually became resistant to it.

Bacteria with the MCR-1 gene are already attacking humans

Colistin-resistant bacteria began to attack not only animals but also humans. In China, 1% of bacteria with the MCR-1 mutation were found in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces. patients. Outside of China, they also appeared in Laos and Malaysia, as well as in Denmark (in a patient who had a bacterial bloodstream infection in early 2015). Scientists fear that batteries with the MCR-1 gene will soon be common onall over the world. All because of the rate at which bacteria multiply and the speed at which they pass resistance genes to each other.

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