Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been discovered in the UK. The doctors have already treated 12 patients, whose illness was related to strong strains of salmonella and E.coli containing resistant gene. The lethal superbug is being said to be resistant to the strongest antibiotic, colistin.
Furthermore, the superbugs containing the same gene have been detected in the chicken meat bought from Europe. It was also found by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate that pigs from three different farms in the UK were infected with E.coli bug carrying the resistant gene.
In November, scientists had detected a ‘super’ variant of E.coli on Chinese pig farms, thereby indicating the threat of untreatable infections. The super-E.coli bug was carrying the MCR-1 gene, which is resistant to colistin. Doctors usually treat patients with colistin only in the cases where all the other medications fail to respond.
The excessive usage of colistin for livestock treatment has been associated with salmonella and E.coli superbugs becoming resistant to the drug, according to the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies. “The MCR-1 gene has been found in a very small number of samples. The health risk is currently considered very low but is subject to ongoing review,” said Alan Johnson, Head of the Department of Healthcare Associated Infection and Antibiotic Resistance at Public Health England.
He added that cooking the food properly can help in killing the superbug and the gene carrying bacteria is responding to treatment using other antibiotics. Furthermore, guidelines have been revised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, limiting the use of colistin in animals.