Highly infectious E Coli strain has been found that is highly resistant to some antibiotics.
This mutated E coli has been described in detail in the latest article published in Nature Communications. Professor Alan McNally and team from the University of Birmingham suggest these bacteria will be able to survive against antibiotics that belong to a class of carbapenems.
Although strains of carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli (CREC) have been identified before, the ST410 version is the most commonly resistant E. coli in Chinese hospitals that was noted between 2017-2021. Now, the discovery of a stronger and more infectious version of the same, coined ‘B5/H24RxC’, has been implicated in two latest outbreaks in a children’s hospital in China.
of this strain showed the bacteria was able to grow faster and was more harmful than previous versions.
Professor Alan McNally, Director of Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham and an author of the study said:
“It has often been thought that the E. coli that evolve to be most resistant to antibiotics do so at the cost of being able to cause infections in humans. Our incredibly important collaboration with our partners in China, funded by the MRC, has allowed us to discover and characterise this new clone of E. coli which is becoming both more antimicrobial resistant and more pathogenic.
Dr Ibrahim Xiaoling Ba, Senior Research Associate, Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge
“This is a worrying new trend and we would now urge surveillance labs across the world to be on the look out for this new clone which we know has spread beyond China.”
Samples from hospitals across 26 Chinese provinces between 2017 and 2021 were used to examine how widespread antibiotic-resistant E. coli was.
Using a total of 388 CREC isolates from various clinical samples including urine, sputum and blood, the team were able to identify that ST410 was the most common CREC, and given that the highest proportion of samples (111) were taken from urine, that there may be a connection to urinary tract infections.
Dr Ibrahim Xiaoling Ba, Senior Research Associate in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, and first author of the paper said:
"Our study highlights the evolving landscape of antimicrobial resistance within clinically significant pathogens, such as E. coli, emphasizing the urgent need for collaborative efforts to address and mitigate this escalating challenge in global public health." (RJ/Newswise)