A Study Found the Common Bug Beat the Last Resort Antibiotic

Contributed by Nguyet Kong

A recent study in the publication mBio, a group from Emory University found that some common bugs, Klebsiella pneumoniae has developed a resistance to the last resort antibiotic. This is dangerous since bacteria found a way to get around one of the few last resort treatments available. Klebsiella is a bacterium that causes many different infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and bloodstream infections. In healthcare facilities, Klebsiella is responsible for 10% of the infections and kill up to 50% of the people who are infected. They can be found in the human gut, but normally doesn’t cause any disease.

An old antibiotic, Colistin that doctors give to patients as a last resort antibiotic is only used when the bacteria have developed a resistance to the other antibiotics that are given. World Health Organization (WHO) mention that it’s a lack of new drugs development and overprescribing the current antibiotics that have made common bugs to become resistance to the current antibiotics.

In the mBio paper, the bacterial isolated was not detectable with the current diagnostic tests. With an additional 24 hours, the resistance strain of Klebsiella that is resistance to Colistin was detected. The additional time needed for the resistance strain of Klebsiella to grow is a downside since diagnostics is needed for life or death situations. In a mouse study, the infection was either lethal or was not treatable by colistin.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/klebsiella/klebsiella.html

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180306085401.htm

http://mbio.asm.org/content/9/2/e02448-17

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs194/en/

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