After China, it’s Denmark that has found the same strain of treatment-resistant bacteria containing the mcr-1 gene. Experts fear that the bacteria strain can cause a global epidemic where it will be impossible to treat infections caused by the strain. Researchers from Technical University of Denmark announced late last week that they found the dreaded “invulnerability” mcr-1 gene among E. coli bacteria samples collected from humans and food.

The researchers conducted a review of 3,000 E. coli bacteria samples from a genetic database. The samples have been taken since 2009. The objective of the review was to find the mcr-1 gene. The mutation gives bacteria an alarming resistance to even colistin – the last effective antibiotics family, reports

The Danish scientists discovered the untreatable strain in five samples of chicken imported from Germany. The stock came to Germany from China.

Christchurch medical microbiologist, Dr. Richard Doehring said that he would be surprised if the mcr-1 gene containing bacteria has not already invaded New Zealand, reports New Zealand Herald.

“It is only a matter of time before it shows up. We import a lot of farmed meat and seafood and this is where superbugs would generally be found,” Dr. Doehring said.

The discovery by the Danish scientists comes right after China discovered that the antibiotic resistant bacteria mcr-1 has breached the last line of antibiotic defence, colistin. It was the only antibiotic that was till now fighting the bacteria strain. The outbreak in China was found in people and pigs last month. China has also warned the foreseeable spread of the superbug.

Dr. Doehring pointed out that colistin is widely used in farming overseas and the more it is used in animals or humans, the more will be the resistance of the bacteria towards the drug. He added that those who are already on antibiotic, especially the elderly are at maximum risk as the bacteria strain spreads very fast.

A press statement was released after the study by the Danish researchers was published in the science journal Lancet. The study reveals that earlier this year, a person suffering from a blood infection had the deadly bacteria strain. The man had not gone outside the country but consumed the infected poultry products from Germany.

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