presence-of-colistin-resistant-bacteria-in-the-gut-of-human-body

Context:

Recently, scientists found indirect evidence of colistin-resistant bacteria in the gut of the human body.

About the colistin resistant bacteria

  • Presence in poultry and vegetables:The team of scientists found that colistin-resistant Klebsiella bacteria were widely present in poultry and raw vegetables.
  • Reasons:
    • The main cause of colistin resistance in food is due to the rampant use of colistin in poultry
    • Since poultry litter is used as manure to grow vegetables, colistin-resistant bacteria are found in vegetables as well.
  • What causes the resistance? In clinical practice, it is the mutation in the mgrB gene or other chromosomal genes that confers colistin resistance to Klebsiella bacteria.

Problems:

  • Scientists noted that colistin resistance due to mutation in food Klebsiella has the potential to spread to human Klebsiella in the gut and hence may contribute to colistin-resistant infections in humans. 
  • It is found that a huge number of individuals carry colistin-resistant bacteria of food origin in the gut is therefore worrying.

About Colistin:

  • Colistin is the last-resort antibiotic used to treat highly drug-resistant bacterial infections.
  • Colistin-resistant bacteria can be of hospital origin or food origin. 
  • Colistin-resistant bacteria of hospital origin do not respond to any of the antibiotics, including carbapenem while colistin-resistant bacteria of food origin will respond to carbapenem.