Cornucopia’s Take: While antibiotic resistant disease is on the rise, the FDA continues to call for voluntary reduction of antibiotic use in agriculture—with few volunteering. Researchers recently discovered colistin-resistant bacteria in farm animals and humans in China. Colistin was considered the last line of defense for serious infections in humans.
Apocalypse Pig: The Last Antibiotic Begins to Fail
by Maryn McKenna
I mentioned on Monday that this past week was intended by the CDC, WHO and other health authorities to be a global awareness week for antibiotic resistance. Alarming news that came out of China at the end of the week certainly created new awareness of resistance, but possibly not what the organizers had in mind.
On Thursday, researchers from several Chinese, British and US universities announced in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases that they have identified a new form of resistance, to the very last-ditch drug colistin—and that it is present in both meat animals and people, probably comes from agricultural use of that drug, can move easily among bacteria, and may already be spreading across borders.
This is very bad news.