‘Antibiotic apocalypse’: Drug-resistant gene spread across globe within 2 years

The life-saving antibiotic of “last resort” is in danger of becoming powerless after a drug-resistant gene was found to have spread across the globe in the last two years. Scientists believe it’s one of the greatest dangers now facing humanity.

A bacteria containing a gene which carries resistance to the antibiotic colistin has spread around the world at an alarming rate. The gene is mcr-1 and was first discovered in China in 2015, and has since been found in more than 30 other countries.

Colistin is known as the antibiotic of “last resort,” because it is used when patients no longer respond to other antibiotics. It has toxic side effects but doctors are increasingly using it as a result of antibiotic resistance.

“The world is facing an antibiotic apocalypse,” England’s chief medical officer Sally Davies said, the Guardian reports. read more