Scientists in China have discovered that a gene enabling resistance to the sole remaining fully functioning class of antibiotics, colistin, is widespread in bacteria carried by both pigs and people in southern China–and can be transferred from one strain of bacteria to another, The Guardian reported, citing the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. China is one of the world’s largest producers and users of colistin for agricultural and veterinary use, stoking greater resistance. “Although resistance to this important and widely used polymyxin group of antibiotics has previously been shown, it was generally caused by mutation in individual organisms,” said Nigel Brown, president of the Microbiology Society. For more on bacterial resistance in China, see CER’s in-depth report.
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