First known infection with superbug reported in US

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First known infection with superbug reported in US 2

For more than a century, antibiotics have been one of the most potent tools in a doctor’s tool chest. They’re used to cure dangerous bacterial infections and have saved countless lives.

But now, the first known infection with a superbug, a germ resistant to one the world’s strongest antibiotics, has been reported in the United States.

CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.

First known infection with superbug reported in US

First known infection with superbug reported in US

But now, the first known infection with a superbug - a germ resistant to one the world's strongest antibiotics - has been reported in the United States.

When every other antibiotic failed in the United States, there was always Colistin…until now. A strain of E. coli bacteria that Colistin can’t kill has been recovered from a patient in the U.S.

Health officials in China published the first paper last year on this superbug, but isolated from pigs and humans. It was E. coli with a deadly difference-a packet of 15 genes that made the germ virtually immune to Colistin.

U.S. doctors found that bacterium, or one like it, in the urine of a 49 year-old woman from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Doctors have warned about these superbugs for years. In 2014, the United Nations’ health agency issued a landmark report, calling them a global emergency.

Right now, superbugs that can survive Colistin can still be killed by another class of antibiotics called carbapenems. But there are germs resistant to those, too.


Jonathan Moreno discusses the dangers of superbugs

For more on the threat of superbugs and public health, CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke with Jonathan Moreno, senior fellow at American Progress who focused on science and national security.