Forty years after it first made the attempt, the U.S. government has instituted controls on some antibiotics used in meat animals to prevent the emergence of resistant bacteria that threaten human health.
Researchers found the "superbug" that is resistant to the last-ditch antibiotic used in treating human disease in seagulls on two continents, Europe and South America, writes Maryn McKenna in National Geographic. The discovery pinpoints one way the so-called MCR-1 gene, which confers resistance to colistin, is moving around the world.
Government scientists found the MCR-1 gene, which allows bacteria to overcome the last-resort antibiotics used against disease in humans, in a sample taken from a different pig than the first U.S. discovery, said a CDC official. The initial case, reported on the same day as discovery of a Pennsylvania woman with an infection that carried the MCR-1 gene, raised fears of "superbug" bacteria resistant to a broad array of antimicrobials.