Antibiotic Resistance - Antibiotic Apocalypse
Scientists on observing that bacteria resistant to drugs used, when all the other treatments have failed, havelearned that the world is on the point of a `post-antibiotic era’. It has been identified that the bacteria is capable of shrugging off the drug in patients and livestock in China and is said that the resistance could extend all over the world giving rise to untreatable infections.
It is a likely resistance that has come up after colistin was overused in farm animals. Bacteria that tend to be totally resistant to treatment is also known as the antibiotic apocalypse which would result in the treatment of medicine being unsuccessful. Cancer therapies and surgery which tend to depend on antibiotics could face problems.
Chinese scientists have identified a new change known as the MCR-1 gene which tends to prevent colistin from eliminating the bacteria. According to the report in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, it portrayed resistance in a fifth of animals that were tested, in 15% of raw meat samples and in 16 patients. The resistance is said to spread between the range of bacterial strains and species which include E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Transfer Rate of Resistance Gene Incredibly High
There is also indication that it has extended to Laos and Malaysia. Prof Timothy Walsh from the University of Cardiff, who worked on the study, informed BBC News website that all the key players were in place now, making the post-antibiotic world a reality.
He added that if MCR-1 tends to become global, and the gene aligns itself with the other antibiotics resistance gene which is unavoidable, then there is a possibility of reaching the start of the post-antibiotic era. At that point, if the patient is seriously ill for instance with E. coli, there will be almost nothing that can be done. Resistance to colistin had come up earlier but the vital difference is the mutation has risen in a way which is shared easily between bacteria.
According to Prof Mark Wilcox from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, he states that the transfer rate of this resistance gene is incredibly high, that does not look good. His hospital is now dealing with various cases and attempting to find an antibiotic.
Wake-up Call for the World
The apprehension is that the new resistance gene tend to catch up with others affecting hospitals, resulting in bacteria resistant to all treatment known as pan-resistance. Prof Wilcox has informed BBC News website not to worry and that they will get to an untreatable organism situation.
Early signs suggest that the Chinese government is moving in the direction of addressing the issue. Prof Walsh would be meeting the agricultural as well as the health ministries to discuss if colistin should be banned for agricultural use. From the campaign group Antibiotic Action, Prof Laura Piddock has informed that the same antibiotics should not be utilised in veterinary and human medicine.
She also informed the BBC News website that they are hoping that the post-antibiotic era is not on them yet, but this could be a wake-up call for the world. She debates that the dawning of the post-antibiotic era tends to depend on the infection, the patient and if there are alternative treatment choices available, since combination of antibiotics could still be effective.