Gene that makes salmonella resistant to antibiotics found in US patient

Researchers have identified a gene that makes the salmonella bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics in a human patient in the U.S.

The research team, from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, identified the gene mcr-3.1, which had only been found in people in Asia. The gene gives salmonella resistance to colistin, which is an antibiotic used as a last resort treatment for multidrug-resistant salmonella infections.

Researchers performed genome sequencing on 100 clinical human stool samples taken from the Southeastern U.S. between 2014 and 2016. In one of the samples, they found the colistin-resistant mcr-3.1 gene. The person's whose sample contained the gene had traveled to China two weeks before contracting a salmonella infection.

"The positive sample was from 2014, so this discovery definitely has implications for the spread of colistin-resistant salmonella in the U.S.," said Siddhartha Thakur, PhD, professor and director of global health at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of the research.

The research, supported by the National Institutes of Health/Food and Drug Administration, was published in Journal of Medical Microbiology.

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