Global increase and geographic convergence in antibiotic consumption between 2000 and 2015 | PNAS
The MCR-9 gene, which causes antimicrobial resistance, was recently found in Georgia
A gene that causes bacteria to be resistant to one of the world’s most important antibiotics, colistin, has been detected in sewer water in Georgia. The presence of the MCR-9 gene is a major concern for public health because it causes antimicrobial resistance, a problem that the World Health Organization has declared “one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.”
Researchers from the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) collected sewage water from an urban setting in Georgia to test for the MCR gene in naturally present bacteria. Led by College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences assistant professor Issmat Kassem, whose research focuses on MCR’s presence around the world, the team was surprised at how quickly they detected MCR — they found evidence of the gene in the first sample they took.
Kassem said that demonstrates that the gene is becoming established in the U.S.
The bacteria where the gene was found, Morganella morganii, added further concern for Kassem. This marked the first time that MCR was found in M. morganii, which is problematic because it is a bacteria not often tested by researchers. This means that the problem could be considerably more widespread than initially thought.
The spread of MCR in agriculture, imports, travel
It was previously believed that agriculture was a driving factor in the spread of MCR. Nations such as China and India use the colistin antibiotic in livestock. Colistin is considered a “last resort” antibiotic because it can kill infections that other antibiotics cannot. Its frequent use means that some bacteria are becoming resistant to it. This means that if people or animals contract a strain of colistin-resistant bacteria, there are potentially no medications that can treat their infection. They face extreme, invasive health measures and possible death.
Colistin is banned in the U.S. for use in food animals and it was previously thought that this measure would help slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance to colistin in the country. However, MCR can be spread through global travel and the import of foods from other countries. Results of the CFS study prove that the U.S. is no less susceptible to the threat than other nations around the world.
Further complicating the issue is the way that the gene is spread. It transmits in plasmids, which are strands of DNA found inside cells that can replicate on their own, independent of the cell. A plasmid with antimicrobial resistance found in one type of bacteria can transmit to other types of bacteria. This means that bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella that commonly cause outbreaks in humans can potentially carry MCR, turning them from treatable illnesses to potentially deadly infections.
How worried should we be about the MCR-9 gene?
Kassem said that taken all together, the global threat of antimicrobial resistance, the presence of MCR in Georgia, that it was found inside a bacterium that is often overlooked, and that it occurred even without the use of colistin in U.S. agriculture is a serious problem that requires immediate action on the part of many industries including research, healthcare and government to work together toward a solution.
“If we don’t tackle it right now, we are jeopardizing human and animal medicine as we know it and that can have huge repercussions on health and the economy,” Kassem said. “It’s a dangerous problem that requires attention from multiple sectors for us to be able to tackle it properly.”
Because of this urgency, findings from the research were printed in short format manuscript out now in the Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance.
Original Article: Gene discovered in Georgia water a possible global threat
More from: University of Georgia
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Confronting Antimicrobial Resistance During World Antibacterial Awareness Week
The world recently observed the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) - November 18th to November 24th - as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to be a growing menace, tagged a silent ...
- Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Through Advanced Diagnostics
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing global health crisis and is one of the major threats to public health. According to the WHO, bacterial AMR was directly responsible for 1.27 million global ...
- Alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant urogenital infections in Greece, study shows escalating resistance trends
In a recent study published in The Journal of Antibiotics, a group of researchers analyzed the trends in antimicrobial resistance among urogenital Mycoplasma hominis (M. hominis) and Ureaplasma ...
- Over-prescription, self-medication, and regulatory gaps leading causes of antimicrobial resistance in India
AMR poses a major public health threat to India as it leads the world in human antibiotic use which is a prime driver of antimicrobial resistance.
- Antimicrobial resistance: Challenges in preventing hospital infections
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) findings, AMR causes an estimated five million deaths every year globally, with projections suggesting a rise to 10 million by 2050.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”antimicrobial resistance” num_posts=”5″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Gene Therapy News
Oct. 31, 2023 — Individuals living with severe sickle cell disease (SCD) are highly interested in new, potentially curative gene therapy treatments and are willing ... Aug. 11, 2023 ...
- Gene That Drives Prostate Cancer Growth Identified
New research from scientists at VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) determined that a particular gene — MDA-9/Syntenin-1/SDCBP — is the ringleader ...
- CRISPR Gene Editing News
9, 2023 — Scientists used their expertise in ... Researchers Develop DANGER Analysis Tool for the Safer Design of Gene Editing Oct. 23, 2023 — A team of researchers has developed a software ...
- mcr-1 gene: Dog owners warned not to share bed with pets
Dog owners who regulalry allow their pets to share their bed are being urged to stop amid the spread of an "untreatable superbug". The mcr-1 gene, which is believed to be transmitted from animals ...
- The Gene Explained
Your body is filled with them. You look the way you do because of them. But do you really know what a gene is? This animated series won’t get you a PhD, but it does clear up a few mysteries ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
[google_news title=”” keyword=”MCR-9 gene” num_posts=”5″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]