A Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Has Spread The World. We Now Know Where It

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03 Apr 2018 02:34 - 03 Apr 2018 02:36 #320005 by Luthien
A Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Has Spread The World. We Now Know Where It Started

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DAVID NIELD 31 MAR 2018

The mcr-1 gene, which helps bacteria resist colistin – one of the few remaining antibiotic drugs of last resort that still work – has now reached hospitals all across the world.

And thanks to new research, we now have more evidence of where it came from – pig farms in China.

While experts had previously thought the gene developed on Chinese pig farms, due to their extensive use of colistin on the animals, the latest study offers more evidence to back this idea up.

It pinpoints the start of the spread to sometime in 2005.

Although there's nothing good about the rise of mcr-1 and antibiotic resistance in general, the genetic analysis techniques used in this research could help scientists get a better handle on the spread of superbugs in the future.

"The speed at which mcr-1 spread globally is indeed shocking," says lead researcher Francois Balloux, from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

By sequencing the genomes of 110 bacterial strains and comparing them to existing genomic data, the team identified a large dataset of 457 mcr-1 positive genome sequences, taken from humans and farm animals spread across five continents.

That enabled them to show exactly where mcr-1 had emerged from, and how it spread globally – attaching itself to various bacterial pathogens by "hitchhiking" on different mobile genetic elements.

"By deciphering the genetic code of these bacteria we found it was possible to predict not only how and where but also when mcr-1 started to spread," says one of the researchers, Lucy van Dorp from UCL.

"This is so important as the presence of mcr-1 across the globe, in many different bacteria species, all within only a decade highlights the ease and speed with which these resistant genes can be disseminated."

Now we've been able to track how mcr-1 spreads, we might be able to better prepare ourselves for the next antimicrobial resistance gene (AMG) to emerge. That's going to take a worldwide effort and a lot of cooperation between countries, the researchers say.

Because of its potentially severe side effects, colistin is only used as an antibiotic of last resort for infections such as E. coli, but the spread of mcr-1 is rendering it ineffective.

The gene can hop between bacteria of different species, making it very difficult to stop.

As hospitals continue to struggle against the rise of the superbugs, and experts warn that the situation is gradually going to get worse, scientists are scrambling for ways to upgrade our medications to meet the challenge. DNA sequencing could be one way to do that.

"Given the dearth of new antibiotics in the pipeline, our best hope to avert the current public health crisis is to improve stewardship of existing drugs, by harnessing the potential of bacterial genome sequencing and translate it into improved surveillance and diagnostics tools," says Balloux.

The findings have been published in Nature Communications.

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[Source: www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0318/26...otic-resistance-gene ]
Last edit: 03 Apr 2018 02:36 by Luthien.

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03 Apr 2018 05:12 #320007 by Rex
MCR-1 has been a bit of a boogey man for the last couple years. Yes the fact that it allows spreadable (they found plasmids with it, no?) resistance to a last-effort drug is worrisome, but simple hygene and proper food safety is enough to prevent most bacterial infections. E coli is most commonly spread by fecal matter contamination if I remember right.

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03 Apr 2018 11:02 #320009 by Arisaig
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03 Apr 2018 12:16 - 03 Apr 2018 12:16 #320010 by Akkarin
On a related subject:

www.bbc.com/news/health-43571120

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One of the most straightforward ways of preventing the rise of antibiotic resistance crossing over from animals is to first reduce the amount of antibiotics used in the growth stages when manufacturing animals, and when antibiotics are used, keep the ones used separate from the ones used to treat humans.

Additionally, get yourself checked and wear protection.
Last edit: 03 Apr 2018 12:16 by Akkarin.

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03 Apr 2018 14:25 #320011 by Eleven
If your concerned about antibiotic resistance. Spend a little more and buy grass fed, organic meats from the store. Your worth it. :D

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03 Apr 2018 20:17 #320019 by Rex

Sven One wrote: If your concerned about antibiotic resistance. Spend a little more and buy grass fed, organic meats from the store. Your[sic] worth it. :D

It's a sort of prisoner's dilemma there, because if anyone overuses antibiotics (especially ones deemed last line of defense), it just adds to the probability of resistance to them. How would being grass-fed help in this context?
Also Akkarin hit it on the head here:

Akkarin wrote: One of the most straightforward ways of preventing the rise of antibiotic resistance crossing over from animals is to first reduce the amount of antibiotics used in the growth stages when manufacturing animals, and when antibiotics are used, keep the ones used separate from the ones used to treat humans.

Additionally, get yourself checked and wear protection.


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04 Apr 2018 01:28 #320025 by Eleven
Because most meats a injected with Antibotics, steroids, and iodine and nitrates. When, consumption of these meats it makes Antibotics less or non effective. But, keep in mind I did read every last post.

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05 Apr 2018 02:46 #320073 by Manu

Akkarin wrote: One of the most straightforward ways of preventing the rise of antibiotic resistance crossing over from animals is to first reduce the amount of antibiotics used in the growth stages when manufacturing animals, and when antibiotics are used, keep the ones used separate from the ones used to treat humans.

Additionally, get yourself checked and wear protection.


And... avoid Asia?

You can eat all the grass fed beef you like, but if the person next to you has a superbug... the superbug just doesn't screen your eating habits before deciding you'd be a good host.

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05 Apr 2018 04:58 - 05 Apr 2018 04:58 #320076 by Luthien

Because most meats a injected with Antibotics, steroids, and iodine and nitrates. When, consumption of these meats it makes Antibotics less or non effective. But, keep in mind I did read every last post.


U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2017, October 12). Steroid hormone implants used for growth in food-producing animals. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website: www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealt...mation/ucm055436.htm

Haspel, T. (2015, February 23). Is grass-fed beef really better for you, the animal and the planet? Retrieved from the Washington Post website: www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/is...m_term=.3421dd2f8797

It is pretty sick that the animals that most eat endure the atrocious living conditions that require them to get routine antibiotics. I'll concede to that. Organic isn't necessarily better, nor safer, though.
Last edit: 05 Apr 2018 04:58 by Luthien.

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05 Apr 2018 08:31 #320078 by Akkarin

Luthien wrote: Organic isn't necessarily better, nor safer, though.


In the EU, though I can't speak for the safety of the food, the rules for organic are far stricter than even those for free-range classifications, necessitating much higher animal welfare. Further it's my understanding that many of the health concerns with animal manufacture are due to the squalid conditions they live in which foster bacterial infection hence the need for antibiotics, conditions which aren't present in organic farming models.

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