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Bacterial resistance to last-resort’ antibiotic reaches the U.S.

Written by Honor Whiteman

The threat of a “post-antibiotic era” has moved closer to reality, after the first case of resistance to the “last-resort” antibiotic colistin has been identified in the United States. Researchers identified the colistin-resistant gene mcr-1 in a woman with a urinary tract infection.Antibiotic resistance, or antimicrobial resistance, occurs when microorganisms develop the ability to escape the effects of drugs that once had the ability to kill them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic-resistant infections affect around 2 million people in the U.S. each year, and more than 23,000 people die as a result of these infections. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria have become one of the biggest threats for antibiotic-resistan