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Superbug Resistant to All Antibiotics Seen in U.S. for First Time

This illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control depicts a three-dimensional (3D) computer-generated image of a group of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae bacteria. (AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control)
This illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control depicts a three-dimensional (3D) computer-generated image of a group of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae bacteria. (AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control)

A woman in Pennsylvania has tested positive for a strain of E. coli that is resistant to antibiotics, researchers said on May 26.

The 49-year-old woman carrying the bacteria had symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), said the study, which was posted by the Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

The woman tested positive for a strain of E. coli that is resistant to the antibiotic colistin, which is a drug used as a last resort against dangerous superbugs including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) — also called the “nightmare bacteria.”

Up to 50 percent of people who get CRE die, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Her case makes it the first in the country of the antibiotic-resistant strain.

CDC Director Tom Frieden told The Washington Post:

Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said he was concerned about the antibiotic-resistant bacteria case, Casey said in a statement:

The CDC says people don’t usually get CRE infections and that they usually happen to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings, as well as individuals whose care requires devices like breathing machines, urinary catheters, or intravenous catheters.

The antibiotic-resistant bacteria was found in pigs, raw pork meat, and a small number of people in China last November. It was also discovered in Europe and other locations.

This article was written by Denisse Moreno.
[Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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