A drug-resistant strain of E.coli bacteria has been found for the first time in the United States.
The bacteria was discovered when a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman showed up at a local clinic seeking treatment for a urinary tract infection. Samples of the bacteria were sent to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for testing, where it was confirmed that the E. coli carried a resistance gene known as Mcr-1.
The same bacteria has been found in China and parts of Europe. Centers for Disease Control Director Tom Frieden expressed concern about the infection, saying it shows that we’re close to the “end of the road” for antibiotics.
Dr. Barun Mathema at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health joins Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the new bacteria’s significance.
- Dr. Barun Mathema, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He tweets @bmathema.
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.