December 2015 – DENMARK – (HEALTH NEWS) – Just weeks after the discovery in China of bacteria resistant to all known forms of treatment, the same strain has been found in Denmark. Worse: It’s been there since 2012. Late last week researchers at the Technical University of Denmark announced they had found the feared ‘invulnerability’ gene among E. coli bacteria samples taken from humans and food. The scientists had been conducting a review of a genetic database of some 3000 different E. coli samples taken since 2009. Specifically they were seeking the mcr-1 gene, a mutation which gives bacteria a frightening resistance to the last effective family of antibiotics — colistin.
According to a press statement accompanying the publication of their study in the science journal Lancet, the search revealed a patient suffering from a blood infection earlier this year had the super-resistant bacteria. Five more examples of bacteria containing the mcr-1 gene were found among samples taken from food imported between 2012 and 2014. Danish researchers fear the untreatable superbug is now firmly embedded in Europe. The man suffering the blood infection had not travelled outside the country and the infected imports were German poultry products. The Chinese outbreak of mcr-1 containing bacteria was found among pigs and people early last month. What makes mcr-1 such a threat, other than its immunity to all known antibiotics, is that it can spread fast. It has been found to reside in plasmids, mobile ‘packets’ of DNA which can be copied and transferred between different bacteria. –News