Update on mcr-1 gene in the United States
CDC released two reports today describing patients with bacteria containing the mcr-1 gene. The mcr-1 gene can make bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin, a crucial last-resort drug for some life-threatening, multidrug-resistant infections. The gene also has the potential to spread quickly to other bacteria. The reports describe patients from Pennsylvania and Connecticut and the public health investigation that followed.
The mcr-1 gene was first reported in China in November of 2015. Since that time, CDC and federal partners have been searching for the mcr-1 gene in bacteria in the United States. The discovery of the mcr-1 gene illustrates domestic and global challenges around antibiotic resistance. The reports today also emphasizes the importance of a coordinated public health response.