Health officials in Scotland have announced the country’s first detection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria harboring the MCR-1 gene.
According to a report from Health Protection Scotland, investigators with the Scottish Salmonella, Shigella and C. difficile Reference Laboratory identified the gene in an isolate from a Salmonella Enteritides patient who had travelled to Southeast Asia. The agency said the patient is currently recovering and did not require any antimicrobial therapy.
The MCR-1 gene, which can confer resistance to the powerful antibiotic colistin, was first identified in Escherichia coli strains in China in November 15, and since then has been detected in more than 30 countries. MCR-1 has alarmed public health officials because colistin is considered an antibiotic of last resort and is mainly used for bacterial infections that won’t respond to other drugs. In addition, the gene can quickly spread colistin resistance to other bacteria because it’s located on mobile pieces of DNA called plasmids.
The concern is that MCR-1 will latch onto multidrug-resistant bacteria and create infections that doctors can’t treat. See http://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/ewr/article.aspx?id=68974&wrtype=2