Public health officials from Public Health England has alerted the public to the discovery of bacteria that resists all forms of antibiotics, including colistin – the antibiotic of last resort, on three pig farms in the UK – the BBC reports.
The bacteria had earlier been found in China this past November, and health specialists thought it would take up to 3 years before it spread to the UK, but now it is here in under 2 months.
Medical specialists turn to colistin when all other antibiotics fail, and now this bacteria is proving stubborn to colistin – spelling possible doom to the pharmaceutical industries and to everybody in general. Imagine having an infection or a disease that would never respond to any antibiotics on Earth.
The Public Health England and the Animal and Plant Health Agency started testing for this bacteria recently, and combed through 24,000 bacterial samples on recorded collected between 2012-2015 before the colistin-resistant bug was found. Also found were samples of E.Coli and Salmonella.
The discovery of this superbug is more serious for man because it could raise the possibility of untreated infections and make nonsense of all the drugs humans have in their arsenal against diseases. More fearful is the prospect that mcr-1 gene, the DNA empowers bacteria to become resistant to colistin, is capable of spreading or even mutating between species of bacteria.
"Our assessment is that the public health risk posed by this gene is currently considered very low, but is subject to ongoing review as more information becomes available,” revealed Prof. Alan Johnson, from Public Health England. "The organisms identified can be killed by cooking your food properly and all the bacteria we identified with this gene were responsive to other antibiotics, called carbapenems.
“We will monitor this closely, and will provide any further public advice as needed."
Health authorities think the outbreak of the bacteria in China was because of antibiotics overuse in agriculture.
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"We need the government, the European Commission and regulatory bodies like the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to respond urgently,” said Coilin Nunan, of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics. "The routine preventative use in farming of colistin, and all antibiotics important in human medicine, needs to be banned immediately."