Breaking News
April 25, 2018 - Researchers develop low-cost, portable laboratory on a phone to detect infections
April 25, 2018 - Early treatment improves leg ulcer healing rates
April 25, 2018 - U.S. FDA and European Medicines Agency Accept Regulatory Submissions for Review of Dacomitinib to Treat Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with EGFR-Activating Mutations
April 25, 2018 - Redefined Alzheimer’s biology has implications for drug design
April 25, 2018 - BetterYou’s Iron Oral Spray recognized as ‘Best New Health and Nutrition Product’
April 24, 2018 - New imaging technology to effectively screen for colorectal cancer among young adults
April 24, 2018 - UW developmental psychologist wins 2018 Alan T. Waterman Award
April 24, 2018 - Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells combined with fibrin matrix influences restoration of motor functions
April 24, 2018 - Exposure to toxin found in sheep may be linked to development of MS
April 24, 2018 - FDA Approves Intravenous Formulation of Akynzeo (fosnetupitant/palonosetron) for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
April 24, 2018 - Is Alzheimer’s caused by disruptions to the brain’s energy supply?
April 24, 2018 - Low concentrations of antibiotics can develop high antibiotic resistance in bacteria
April 24, 2018 - Imagined and real movements have similar brain mechanisms, research suggests
April 24, 2018 - Alcoholic drinks affect oral bacteria tied to diseases
April 24, 2018 - Mechanism in Non-Contact ACL Tears Similar in Men, Women
April 24, 2018 - Buprenorphine may be safer than methadone if treatment duration is longer, study suggests
April 24, 2018 - NF-κB1 gene known to drive cancer development is critical for preventing stomach cancers
April 24, 2018 - New tool helps blind, low-vision users navigate modern webpages more easily
April 24, 2018 - Hippo pathway plays essential role in embryonic development of the mouse heart
April 24, 2018 - Vegetarian diet and Mediterranean diet close to each other in health benefits
April 24, 2018 - FSU receives $1.5 million federal grant for innovative suicide prevention research
April 24, 2018 - Health Tip: Screening for Cancer in Older Adults
April 24, 2018 - Investigators highlight potential of exercise in addressing substance abuse in teens
April 24, 2018 - Study shows people might develop dementia later and live with it for a shorter period of time
April 24, 2018 - EMBL scientists develop new illumination method to manage neuropathic pain
April 24, 2018 - New compound could offer pain-relieving properties without risk of addiction
April 24, 2018 - New drug treatment could be promising therapeutic approach for millions with asthma
April 24, 2018 - Study provides guidance on using cannabis for treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression
April 24, 2018 - By Royal approval: Queen’s Award success for Elucigene
April 24, 2018 - The role of ‘extra’ DNA in cancer evolution and therapy resistance
April 24, 2018 - Researchers identify tools that caregivers could use to detect delirium in older adults
April 24, 2018 - What to Look Out For
April 24, 2018 - Drugs prescribed for newborns vary widely between NICUs, study finds
April 24, 2018 - FM4200 pressure-resistant mass flow meter from Sensirion
April 24, 2018 - Study links past experiences with bias and avoidance of doctors in women with higher BMI
April 24, 2018 - Role of extrachromosomal pieces of DNA in cancer development and treatment resistance
April 24, 2018 - Rehabilitation technique for stroke appears beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients
April 24, 2018 - Women who find purpose and meaning in life less likely to have anxiety, study shows
April 24, 2018 - Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Announces Submission of New Drug Application for Firdapse for Treatment of Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome
April 24, 2018 - Suicide and homicide rates show large racial disparities across US states
April 24, 2018 - Scientists develop tissue-engineered models to better understand cancer metastases
April 24, 2018 - NuProbe to commercialize Wyss Institute’s new technology to facilitate precision medicine
April 24, 2018 - Special series explores pasteurized donor human milk use for hospitalized infants
April 24, 2018 - Slight changes in patient’s position during radiotherapy may impact survival chances
April 24, 2018 - FDA Approves Tagrisso (osimertinib) as First-Line Treatment for EGFR-Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
April 24, 2018 - After knee replacement, play on
April 24, 2018 - Contact precautions do not limit spread of drug-resistant bacteria in ICUs
April 24, 2018 - Researchers discover genetic catalysts that accelerate evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
April 24, 2018 - WPI researcher launches mobile app for assessing perinatal depression in women
April 24, 2018 - Researchers identify superior blood-based biomarker for assessing sports-related concussions
April 24, 2018 - Gene Therapy Found to Be Promising for β-Thalassemia
April 24, 2018 - Bariatric surgery can lead to changes in relationship status
April 24, 2018 - GPs must embrace digital technologies to make healthcare access easier for patients
April 24, 2018 - Novel stem cell therapy may transform current paradigms for treating heart failure patients
April 24, 2018 - Maternal depression during and after pregnancy linked to poorer child neurodevelopment
April 24, 2018 - Vitamin D and magnesium supplements provide right nutritional support to athletes
April 24, 2018 - Could a Tattoo Someday Spot Your Cancer?
April 24, 2018 - Throat reflexes differ in people with tetraplegia and sleep apnea
April 24, 2018 - Study shows no increased risk of breast cancer recurrence after DIEP flap reconstruction
April 24, 2018 - Nearly three-quarters of commonly used medical scopes tainted by bacteria
April 24, 2018 - Home-based treatment program offers robust and sustained relief for IBS patients
April 24, 2018 - New IntelliCyt Cy-Clone PLUS streamlines clone ranking and selection for cell line development
April 24, 2018 - Scientists examine how specific eating patterns could help fight cancer and obesity
April 24, 2018 - Study sheds new light on how bilinguals process language
April 24, 2018 - Probiotics can improve liver health, shows study
April 24, 2018 - Study may explain how chemoresistance evolves over time in some triple-negative breast cancers
April 24, 2018 - Role of midbrain in encoding identity errors
April 23, 2018 - Salamander study provides clues for treating spinal cord injuries
April 23, 2018 - Relaxation after work could give better night’s sleep
April 23, 2018 - Loneliness on its way to becoming Britain’s most lethal condition
April 23, 2018 - Low-cost blood test for multiple myeloma can deliver same diagnostic information as bone biopsy
April 23, 2018 - Metabolic differences may contribute to postpartum weight retention in black moms
April 23, 2018 - Time-Related Deployment Factors Predict Suicide Attempt Risk
April 23, 2018 - Are newborns ugly? Research says newborns rated ‘less cute’ than older babies
April 23, 2018 - Prenatal marijuana use linked to increased chance of low birth weights
April 23, 2018 - Researchers identify target gene in P. aeruginosa infection
April 23, 2018 - New studies related to causes of liver degradation and possible treatments
April 23, 2018 - Studies offer leads for new approaches to treat neurological problems
April 23, 2018 - Promising cell study may offer new opportunities for treating Parkinson’s disease
April 23, 2018 - Gene Therapy May Be Cure for Some With Rare Blood Disorder
Drug-resistant gene goes from pig farms to patients worldwide

Drug-resistant gene goes from pig farms to patients worldwide

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Credit: University College London

A troublesome gene that is resistant to an antibiotic often used as a last resort has been tracked from its origins on Chinese pig farms to hospital patients worldwide in a new study led by UCL and Peking University People’s Hospital.

The study, published in Nature Communications, found that the mcr-1 gene, now present across the globe, can be tracked to a single event around 2005 when it moved from pigs into pathogens that affect humans.

“The speed at which mcr-1 spread globally is indeed shocking,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Francois Balloux (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment).

The mcr-1 gene makes bacteria resistant to colistin, which is one of the very few drugs effective against multi-drug resistant infections. Colistin was discovered in the 1950s but has until recently been mostly used in pig farming due to its severe side-effects. With the recent increase in antibiotic resistance, it has now become widely prescribed in the clinic as a last-line drug for infections such as E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

“Mcr-1 provides relatively low resistance, and mcr-1 strains can still be treated with colistin, but at far higher doses, which is obviously detrimental to the patients as colistin is fairly toxic. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the emergence and spread of elements that provide higher resistance to colistin than mcr-1, which would make the situation even worse,” said Professor Balloux.

The mcr-1 gene is mobile and plasmid-borne, meaning it can be transported from one bacterium to another, even of two different species, and confer resistance to colistin. It was identified in China in 2016, followed by a rapid realisation that it had already spread globally, but its exact origin and spread had not yet been determined.

The research team compiled an exhaustive dataset of 457 mcr-1 positive genome sequences isolated from humans and farm animals from five continents, by sequencing the genomes of 110 bacterial strains and systematically mining previously deposited genomic data from publicly available databases.

They analysed this data with novel computational tools to show there had been a single emergence of mcr-1, reliably dated to the mid-2000s and which happened likely in Chinese pig farms. They also reconstructed how the mcr-1 element had been spreading globally and to various bacterial pathogens by hitchhiking with various bacterial mobile genetic elements.

This work represents the first reconstruction of the emergence and spread of an antibiotic resistance element and opens new avenues for improved global surveillance of antibiotic resistance using genomic tools.

Hospitals worldwide are struggling with increasing incidence of hard-to-treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The World Health Organisation has been raising the alarm over a post-antibiotic era where minor infections could routinely become untreatable. Public Health England predicts that antibiotic resistance could lead to 10 million deaths every year globally by 2050 and to £66 trillion in lost productivity to the global economy.

“There is no consensus yet on the importance of antimicrobials in livestock being a main driver of the antimicrobial resistance public health crisis. That said, the use of antimicrobials in agriculture is not only a scientific issue but also a societal and economic issue that will need to be addressed,” said Professor Balloux.

“Given the dearth of new antibiotics in the pipeline, our best hope to avert the current public health crisis is to improve stewardship of existing drugs, by harnessing the potential of bacterial genome sequencing and translate it into improved surveillance and diagnostics tools,” he added.

“Our study highlights the value of analysing DNA sequenced from hundreds of resistant bacteria to track the spread of dangerous resistance genes around the world. By deciphering the genetic code of these bacteria we found it was possible to predict not only how and where but also when mcr-1 started to spread. This is so important as the presence of mcr-1 across the globe, in many different bacteria species, all within only a decade highlights the ease and speed with which these resistant genes can be disseminated,” said co-author Dr. Lucy van Dorp (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment).

“Our work suggests that mcr-1 was already distributed worldwide just a decade after its emergence on a mobile genetic element. While we don’t know the exact transmission routes it spread by, we can presume that other AMR genes will be spread in a similar way, emphasizing that AMR is a truly global problem requiring coordinated international action,” added co-author Liam Shaw (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment).


Explore further:
Bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic, missed by standard tests

More information:
The global distribution and spread of the mobilized colistin resistance gene mcr-1 Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03205-z

Journal reference:
Nature Communications

Provided by:
University College London

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles