The LA Times is reporting that “In early April, experts at a military lab outside Washington intensified their search for evidence that a dangerous new biological threat had penetrated the nation’s borders.”, “On May 18, a team working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research here had its first look at a sample of the bacterium Escherichia coli, taken from a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania. She had a urinary tract infection with a disconcerting knack for surviving the assaults of antibiotic medications. Her sample was one of six from across the country delivered to the lab of microbiologist Patrick McGann.”, “There, in the bacterium’s DNA, was a gene dubbed mcr-1. Its presence made the pathogen impervious to the venerable antibiotic colistin.”

“The golden age of antibiotics appears to be coming to an end, its demise hastened by a combination of medical, social and economic factors. For decades, these drugs made it easy for doctors to treat infections and injuries. Now, common ailments are regaining the power to kill.”

“The Pennsylvania patient whose infection was impervious to colistin was able to beat back the bacteria in her urinary tract with the help of other antibiotics. She survived.

Others have not been so lucky. Hospital patients infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are twice as likely to die as those infected by the non-resistant strains of the same bacteria, studies show.”

Read the full story at The LA Times