Drug-resistant strain of E. coli emerges in US

July 31st, 2010 - 6:14 pm ICT by ANI  

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Washington, July 31 (ANI): A recent study has revealed that
a new, drug-resistant strain of E. coli is causing serious antimicrobial-resistant
infections in the US.

The new strain, ST131 has been reported in multiple
countries and encountered all over the United States.

In the study, researchers analyzed resistant E. coli
isolates collected during 2007 from hospitalized patients across the country.
They identified 54 ST131 isolates, which accounted for 67 percent to 69 percent
of E. coli isolates exhibiting fluoroquinolone or extended-spectrum
cephalosporin resistance.

“If we could discover the sources of this strain, the
transmission pathways that allow it to spread so effectively, and the factors
that have led to its rapid emergence, we could find ways to intervene and
possibly slow or halt this strain’s emergence,” said study author James
Johnsonof VA Medical Center in
Minneapolis.

In the past, highly virulent E. coli strains usually have
been susceptible to antibiotics, while highly resistant strains have been
fairly weak in terms of their ability to cause disease.

The susceptible strains were easily treated even though they
caused serious infections, while the resistant ones tended mostly to affect
only weakened or vulnerable individuals. Now, the study’s findings suggest, the
ST131 strain has appeared with a high level of virulence and antimicrobial
resistance.

“If this strain gains one additional resistance gene,” Dr.
Johnson added, “it will become almost untreatable and will be a true superbug,
which is a very concerning scenario.”

The findings were published in the Clinical Infectious
Diseases. (ANI)

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