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It's a milestone no one wanted. Researchers have discovered, in an American, a strain of bacteria resistant to the antibiotic of last resort. The discovery hints at the day antibiotics could no longer treat infections.
Doctors found the resistant strain of E.coli in a Pennsylvania woman with a urinary tract infection. Colistin, considered the antibiotic of last resort, failed to treat the infection.
Colistin is a "back up" drug if "the first line of antibiotics couldn't be used," according to Dr. Susan Kline, the medical director of infection control at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Over the years, bacteria have become more resistant to antibiotics due to their over-prescription and use, overuse in animals that humans eat and lack of new antibiotics getting produced. One in three antibiotics prescriptions is unnecessary, according to studies by the University of Minnesota and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"The take home message is we all have to think about using antibiotics wisely, because it's a limited resource. And we don't want to use up the resources now and not have them available when we really need them," Dr. Kline told Fox 9.
In March, President Obama announced a national plan for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria," with a goal of cutting unnecessary antibiotics prescriptions by half by 2020.
Meanwhile, researchers are trying to track the origin of the resistant E. coli strain in the Pennsylvania woman.
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