The findings of the study was reported on Thursday in a study appearing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.
Health officials are now working to interview the woman and her family to find how she may have gotten the bacteria, The Washington Post reported.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement: “We are taking the emergence of this resistance gene very seriously, and we will take necessary actions to prevent mcr-1 from becoming a widespread problem with potentially serious consequences”.
According to HHS and the USDA, a few ways to avoid antibiotic resistant bacteria are to thoroughly wash hands and produce, and properly cook all fish, meat, and poultry to kill bacteria.
“The more we look at drug resistance, the more concerned we are”, Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, said Thursday. Colistin is the antibiotic of last resort for the deadliest of superbugs, including CRE, which health experts call “nightmare bacteria” and the CDC considers one of the nation’s most urgent public health threats.
Although the patient survived, it’s feared the resistance could spread to other bacteria, according to media reports.
The woman had not travelled outside the United States, so she could not have acquired the resistant bacteria elsewhere, Dr Frieden said.
She’s the first person in the U.S.to develop a type of bacteria that doesn’t respond to any known antibiotic.
The 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania has recovered but United States health officials warned of the risk of it being “the end of the road” for antibiotics. “Since then, we’ve had a drying up of the research and development pipeline of antibiotics”, explained Dr. Walsh.
“It’s another warning, not a death star, but a very strong warning that we really do have to be careful with antibiotics and use them optimally”, said Neil Fishman, an infectious disease doctor who is associate chief medical officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
The Obama administration has been focusing on ramping up our defenses against antibiotic-resistant bacteria since late in 2014.
The colistin-resistant gene has been found in people and animals in Canada, China and Europe.
While the initial hope was to discover 10 new antibiotics each year during the study, in the first two years they have discovered more than 400.