Salmonella May Now Be Resistant To Last Resort Antibiotics
There is no shortage of irony when it comes to the pending antibiotic apocalypse. Antibiotics have saved millions of lives worldwide, however, their misuse in the field of medicine is leading us into unchartered dangers. Bacterias are evolving to circumvent the once undeniable benefits of the antibiotic. In other words, illnesses are becoming more robust and potent and we aren’t able to rely on antibiotics to stop them.
But the worst is yet to come.
A newly discovered bacterial gene that bypasses last line of defense antibiotics is being discovered in the United States.
The gene is called mcr-3.1. And it has the power to take previously considered simpleton bacterias, such as salmonella, and turn them into a threat. The mcr-3.1 gene is providing salmonella with the ability to bypass our commonly accepted medical solutions. And that’s a terrible thing. This can make salmonella untreatable.
“Public health officials have known about this gene for some time,” says Siddhartha Thakur, author of the study. “In 2015, they saw that mcr-3.1 had moved from a chromosome to a plasmid in China, which paves the way for the gene to be transmitted between organisms. For example, E. coli and Salmonella are in the same family, so once the gene is on a plasmid, that plasmid could move between the bacteria and they could transmit this gene to each other. Once mcr-3.1 jumped to the plasmid, it spread to 30 different countries, although not – as far as we knew – to the US.”
The research, carried out by North Carolina State University, used 100 clinical human stool samples from residents in the southeast of the US between 2014 and 2016. The researchers weren’t looking for mcr-3.1, they fell upon it by accident during the study. The mcr-3.1 gene was found in a single stool sample of a person who’d recently visited China. The sample was discovered from the 2014 stockpile, which means it is highly probable that mcr-3.1 is already here.
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“The positive sample was from 2014, so this discovery definitely has implications for the spread of colistin-resistant Salmonella in the U.S.,” Thakur says. “Our lab will continue to try and fill in these knowledge gaps.”
A recent study suggested that the popular anti-depressant, Prozac, may be responsible for antibiotic resistance. Worse more, researchers believe that triclosan, a common toothpaste ingredient, may be contributing to the antibiotic collapse as well. The consequences of an antibiotic apocalypse are unsettling, to say the least. The situation gets worse when you consider that major pharmaceutical companies are ditching antibiotic research in favor of more popular drugs.
According to one estimate, 33,000 people die annually from superbugs in Europe.
The threat of pandemics is on the rise. Recently, it was discovered that Candida auris, a deadly infection, is spreading throughout the world. Please refer to our antibiotic preppers guide for information on how to survive a post-catastrophe.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.