A Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Has Spread The World. We Now Know Where It Started

A Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Has Spread The WorldThe mcr-1 gene, which helps bacteria resist colistin – one of the few remaining antibiotic drugs of last resort that still work – has now reached hospitals all across the world.

And thanks to new research, we now have more evidence of where it came from – pig farms in China.

While experts had previously thought the gene developed on Chinese pig farms, due to their extensive use of colistin on the animals, the latest study offers more evidence to back this idea up.

It pinpoints the start of the spread to sometime in 2005.

Although there’s nothing good about the rise of mcr-1 and antibiotic resistance in general, the genetic analysis techniques used in this research could help scientists get a better handle on the spread of superbugs in the future.

A Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Has Spread The World 1
Tracking mcr-1 around the world. (UCL)

“The speed at which mcr-1 spread globally is indeed shocking,” says lead researcher Francois Balloux, from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

By sequencing the genomes of 110 bacterial strains and comparing them to existing genomic data, the team identified a large dataset of 457 mcr-1 positive genome sequences, taken from humans and farm animals spread across five continents.

That enabled them to show exactly where mcr-1 had emerged from, and how it spread globally – attaching itself to various bacterial pathogens by “hitchhiking” on different mobile genetic elements.

“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,” says one of the researchers, Lucy van Dorp from UCL.

“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.”

Now we’ve been able to track how mcr-1 spreads, we might be able to better prepare ourselves for the next antimicrobial resistance gene (AMG) to emerge. That’s going to take a worldwide effort and a lot of cooperation between countries, the researchers say.

Because of its potentially severe side effects, colistin is only used as an antibiotic of last resort for infections such as E. coli, but the spread of mcr-1 is rendering it ineffective.

The gene can hop between bacteria of different species, making it very difficult to stop.

As hospitals continue to struggle against the rise of the superbugs, and experts warn that the situation is gradually going to get worse, scientists are scrambling for ways to upgrade our medications to meet the challenge. DNA sequencing could be one way to do that.

“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,” says Balloux.

The findings have been published in Nature Communications.

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Scientists Discover A Second Brain In Human Body, And It’s Located In The Butt

It turns out those gut feelings or pits in your stomach may actually come from your second...

First Ever Study of Unvaccinated Vs. Vaccinated Kids, Pulled from Journal, Erased from Internet

In recent years, the glaring spotlight of skepticism has been turned to the topic of vaccines, bitterly dividing parents and giving doctors of modern...

Be Advised! Aspartame Changed its Name to AminoSweet

Aspartame has been renamed -  AminoSweet - and is now being marketed as a natural sweetener Aspartame, the artificial sweetener linked to cancer, heart palpitations,...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Scientists Discover A Second Brain In Human Body, And It’s Located In The Butt

It turns out those gut feelings or pits in your stomach may actually come from your second...

After Watching This, You’ll Think Twice About The Food You Eat!

After watching this trailer for the documentary FED UP you will realize that the food industry is hiding some very important information from us. This...

New Studies Confirm the Effectiveness of Ibogaine in Stopping Opioid Addiction

The opioid crisis in America has reached epidemic levels and overdose deaths continue to rise. While the destructive effects of heroin and pharmaceutical opioids ravage...

Top 10 most unhealthy, cancer-causing foods !

The statement "everything causes cancer" has become a popular hyperbole, and one that some people use as rhetorical fodder to excuse their own dietary...

Cars Made Out Of & Powered By Hemp Are The Future

Automobile manufacturer Renew has built cars made from carbon-negative hemp material, with the ability to run on hemp ethanol if it ever were to...

Reincarnation, the ‘Interlife’, Universal Consciousness & the Holographic Soul

Modern studies repeatedly suggest that a significant proportion of people in the Western world now believe in reincarnation. Although this phenomenon can be traced...

This Company’s Solar Roof Is 33% Cheaper Than Tesla’s – And Is Installed In Half The Time

In recent weeks, Tesla has received copious amounts of attention for its new solar roofs – and for good reason. However, what if we were...

Television Can Destroy Your Mind

For the first time in history, man has an instrument through which the masses can be taught and controlled effectively, immediately, and effortlessly. That...