Resistance-causing mcr-1 gene isolated in India

  • In an ominous sign for antibiotic effectiveness, the mcr-1 gene, which is responsible for resistance against antibiotic Colistin, has been identified in India.
  • The gene was found in a sample of E. coli bacteria by scientists in a hospital in Haryana.
  • Mcr-1 has already been detected in China, USA and Brazil.
  • The gene is believed to build resistance in bacteria against Colistin—a last resort antibiotic to treat infectious diseases in humans.
  • It is often used to treat human diseases when no other antibiotic works. Colistin belongs to a group of antibiotics called polymixins which are termed “critically important” by the World Health Organization.
  • Despite its critically important status, colistin is used extensively in food animal production for purposes other than treatment of diseases.
  • However in India, colistin is used rampantly for non-therapeutic purposes such as growth promotion and disease prevention in poultry farming and aquaculture.
  • However, no mandatory action has been taken by the Indian government so far.

Leave a Reply