This summer, a Pennsylvania woman was found to carry a superbug that is resistant to the antibiotic of last resort, causing alarm about the potential of dangerous drug resistance spreading across the United States. Ever since, health researchers have been looking for where else such germs might be lurking.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the superbug popped up in a 2-year-old girl in Connecticut. She got sick in June and was found to have a strain of E. coli bacteria with the antibiotic-resistance gene known as mcr-1, making her the fourth human case in the United States identified so far. The gene allows the organism to withstand the antibiotic colistin, the drug doctors use to treat patients who have infections that don’t respond to other antibiotics.
In this case, although the girl’s bacterial strain was resistant to colistin, it was not resistant to all antibiotics, according to the CDC report. The girl recovered fully, and the bacteria did not spread to anyone else in her family or to health-care providers she came in contact with. Officials, however, expect more cases to surface in the United States, and on Friday recommended increased surveillance for bacteria that show resistance to colistin.