Study: Superbug infections found in Chinese hospitals

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Published: January 28, 2017 6:42:41 AM

A new study suggests a worrying number of people in China may be infected with bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort.

Chinese officials earlier this year approved colistin for use in hospitals, raising fears that it could worsen the resistance problem. (Reuters)Chinese officials earlier this year approved colistin for use in hospitals, raising fears that it could worsen the resistance problem.
(Reuters)

A new study suggests a worrying number of people in China may be infected with bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort.

Researchers examined more than 17,000 samples from patients with infections of common bacteria found in the gut, in two Chinese hospitals. They found about 1 percent of those samples were resistant to colistin, an old, powerful antibiotic.

For decades, China used colistin in its agriculture industry to speed animals’ growth, but the drug was not used in people. Scientists say the latest work is further evidence that overuse in animals can spread to people.

Chinese officials earlier this year approved colistin for use in hospitals, raising fears that it could worsen the resistance problem.

The study appears Friday in the Lancet journal.

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