The United States has reported the first case of a person carrying a bacteria resistant to an antibiotic of last resort – a development that could mean “the end of the road for antibiotics”.
Scientists have found a strain of E. coli resistant to colistin, an antibiotic reserved for the hardest-to-treat bugs, in a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman, according to a study in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
The authors wrote that the discovery “heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug-resistant bacteria”.
Around 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections. A review commissioned by the British government warned that if the world fails to get to grips with the problem, an extra 10 million people a year will die by 2050.