‘Super-Bug’ Resistant To EVERY Antibiotic In America Kills Woman

Andrew Follett | Energy and Science Reporter

A woman in Nevada was killed when a ‘superbug’ resisted every antibiotic available in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC said the woman acquired a strain of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) resistant to all available antimicrobial drugs. Doctor’s tested 26 different antibiotics on the woman in vain before she died. The patient had received inpatient health care exposure in India before receiving care in the U.S.

Local health officials were notified by the CDC after a week of treatment that every possible medication had been tried on the woman without success. The CDC later determined that no drug currently on the market would have stopped the bacteria’s spread.

“It was tested against everything that’s available in the United States … and was not effective,” Dr. Alexander Kallen, one of the CDC doctors, told the health news website Stat. “I think it’s concerning. We have relied for so long on just newer and newer antibiotics. But obviously the bugs can often [develop resistance] faster than we can make new ones.”

The specific bacteria attacking the woman was called Klebsiella pneumoniae, which often causes urinary tract infections. A sample of the bacteria was found to contain New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), an enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to many antibiotics, according to the CDC.

Superbugs resistant to all antimicrobials are extremely uncommon, but are becoming increasingly common. When doctors use an antibiotic, bacteria that can resist the treatment have a greater chance of survival than those which can’t. Susceptible bacteria are killed or inhibited by an antibiotic, resulting in evoltuionary selective pressure causing the resistant strains of the bacteria to spread.

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