Thursday, January 21st, 2021

It’s Here: Bacteria Resistant to ALL Antibiotics Shows Up In U.S.

Published on May 29, 2016 by   ·   No Comments



For the past several months, I’ve been writing about a superbug that is resistant to all antibiotics, including “last resort” drugs. Experts first found it in China, and believed it would take about a decade to cross over into Europe. However, they were wrong; it only took a few months. It also arrived in Canada, and now it’s here, too.

On Thursday, CDC director Tom Frieden announced the first known case of the superbug in the United States had been discovered in a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman suffering from an E. coli infection.

The woman went to a clinic in Pennsylvania in April seeking care for a urinary tract infection, and the clinic forwarded a sample to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Walter Reed discovered the superbug in her urine. It is not known how the bacteria got into the woman’s system; she has not traveled outside of the U.S. in the past 5 months. This would suggest that more people in the United States are infected with the bacteria.

The CDC and the Pennsylvania State Health Department are investigating the case and working to trace the contacts the woman have had to see if the bacteria had spread. The CDC also said it was looking for other potential cases of the superbug in the health care facility that treated the patient. [1]

The strain of E. coli which infected the woman is resistant to all antibiotics,including colistin, the “big gun” that doctors pull out of their arsenal when all other drugs fail. Colistin was approved in the 1950s but fell out of favor in the 1970s because of its toxicityUSA Today reports. It is only used when absolutely necessary.

The superbug is now present in more than 2 dozen countries. Given the danger of colistin-resistant bacteria, doctors at Walter Reed decided to start testing samples from the U.S. Patrick McGann, a senior microbiologist at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, said:

“People have begun looking for it. And now that they’re looking for it, they’re finding it. It’s only a matter of time before these bacteria start showing up.”

Fortunately, the Pennsylvania woman’s infection was susceptible to a handful of antibiotics, including a class called carbapenems, so her infection was treatable.

Frieden said:

“We risk being in a post-antibiotic world. The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients.”

Read More HERE

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