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New Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in America

on September 18, 2010
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Fox News: “New Drug-Resistant Superbugs Found in 3 StatesA new strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has arrived in America from travelers to South Asia.

A new drug-resistant bacteria is spreading throughout the world, including the United States. Health officials are concerned with this dangerous “superbug” because the gene adapts to inhabit other germs like E. coli and Klebsiella pneumonia, giving them drug-resistant power.

The infected people in the U.S. (California, Massachusetts, and Illinois) each had been given medical care in India.

The infected people in the U.S. (California, Massachusetts, and Illinois) each had been given medical care in India. Because of the connection with India, the gene has been named NDM-1 for New Delhi. The conditions in India—dense population, overuse of antibiotics, areas without clean water, and diarrheal disease—give NDM-1 a prime environment to grow, according to microbiologist Patrice Nordmann at South-Paris Medical School. He predicts the superbug will “spread by plane all over the world.”

To fight NDM-1, physicians have tried antibiotic combinations and even risky antibiotics from the 1950s and ’60s. Medical experts advise the public to protect itself by practicing good hygiene, taking antibiotics only when necessary, and finishing the full dose of a prescribed antibiotic.

While not addressed in the Fox News story, the supposed link between drug-resistant bacteria and molecules-to-man evolution has appeared in many other articles. In reality, this process of natural selection through mutation does not cause any gain of information, but a loss of functioning systems. When the antibiotic is removed, the drug-resistant bacteria can’t compete with the original bacteria. Through responsible antibiotic use and hygiene, such competition should lead to the downfall of NDM-1.


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