Forget politics and crime and even the Golden State Warriors’ dilemma. The biggest news yesterday was the discovery in the U.S. of bacteria carrying the gene that makes them resistant to all antiboitics. As Boston Globe’s health periodical Stat reports:
Mcr-1 is a gene that gives bacteria that carry it resistance to a drug called colistin, the last antibiotic that can cure infections caused by bacteria that have developed resistance to multiple antibiotics.
The gene is carried on a plasmid, a mobile piece of DNA. That means it can be swapped from one bacterium to another within a family such as E. coli — and to other bacterial families, as well.
The nightmare scenario is that this gene will find its way into bacteria that are resistant to all other antibiotics, creating a pan-resistant bug that causes infections that simply cannot be treated.