State and Federal Officials Brief Media on MCR-1 Gene in E. coli Bacteria
May 31, 2016
Department of Health (DOH) and the national Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) hosted a briefing call for state and national media about the
discovery of the MCR-1 gene in a Pennsylvania woman.
E. coli bacteria
carrying the MCR-1 gene were found in the woman’s urine
sample. DOH cannot discuss the specific details of the investigation because of
Pennsylvania’s Disease Prevention and Control Law, which protects a patient’s
privacy. DOH did confirm it is working closely with the CDC and the U.S.
Department of Defense on a coordinated investigation into the case.
DOH and CDC
officials clarified that, despite some media reports, the bacteria identified in
the woman are not resistant to all antibiotics. The primary concern among the
officials is that the presence of the MCR-1 gene, and its ability to share its antibiotic
resistance with other bacteria, raises the risk that antibiotic-resistant
bacteria could develop.
The general public
can help prevent the spread of infection through frequent hand-washing and
using alcohol-based hand gels. Care providers should wear medical gloves if
they will be coming into contact with blood or body fluids.
cooking meat to the proper internal temperature kills bacteria whether or not
the meat is carrying the MCR-1 gene. Handling, preparing, and storing food
correctly are essential in preventing any type of foodborne illness.
Resistant bacteria can
be spread in health care settings, when patients are most vulnerable. Three
critical efforts to prevent a health care-acquired condition include:
infections related to surgery or placement of a catheter
the spread of bacteria between patients
Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) Pennsylvania
Hospital Engagement Network (PA-HEN) is focused on antibiotic stewardship for the Clostridium difficile (C. diff)bacterial infection as part of its 2016
contract with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. HAP plans
to expand antibiotic stewardship education efforts in 2017.
State and federal
officials said their goal is to address the development of antibiotic-resistant
bacteria by innovating with new tools, through faster diagnostics and better
reported in HAP Daily last week, beginning in fall 2016, CDC’s antibiotic resistance
lab network will enhance the infrastructure needed to detect and respond to
resistant organisms recovered from human samples by establishing:
capacity for seven to eight regional labs
in all states and seven major cities/territories
goal is for the state labs to detect new forms of antibiotic resistance and
report the findings to CDC in near real-time.
also said their efforts will include the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria
(NARMS), a collaboration among state and local public health departments, the
CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. This national system tracks changes in the antimicrobial
susceptibility of certain intestinal bacteria found in sick people, retail
meats, and food animals in the U.S. The program helps protect public
health by providing information about emerging bacterial resistance, the ways
in which resistance is spread, and how resistant infections differ from
Resources about the
issue are available through DOH and the CDC.
For additional information, contact Dr. Michael Consuelos, HAP's senior vice president, clinical integration.