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Friday
May272016

Woman found to harbor infection resistant to antibiotic of last resort

For the first time, doctors have diagnosed an American with an infection that can't be treated with an antibiotic of last resort, an ominous development in the battle against antibiotic resistance, according to a new study.

The antibiotic, colistin, is used when infections become impervious to all other drugs, including a class of antibiotics called carbapenems. Colistin, which was approved in the 1950s, fell out of favor in the 1970s because of its toxicity. Doctors have resumed using it when nothing else works.

In the past six months or so, scientists have found bacteria that are resistant to colistin in more than two dozen countries, said study co-author Patrick McGann, a senior microbiologist at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Given the danger of colistin-resistant bacteria, doctors at Walter Reed decided to begin testing samples from the U.S.

Read more: USA Today