Drug Resistant E. coli Strain Linked to Bladder Infections

An emerging drug resistant strain of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">E. coli has the potential to affect six-to-eight million bladder infection sufferers—mostly women—sickened with the painful condition annually, said MSNBC.

Multi-drug resistant E. coli ST131 could potentially be blamed for some one million infections and over 3,000 deaths annually that originate from urinary tract infections (UTIs), explained MSNBC, according to Dr. James R. Johnson, an infectious disease expert at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis. “I think it’s high time to worry…. Before, resistant strains were wimpy. Now, we have a winner,” said Dr. Johnson, quoted MSNBC. Johnson also pointed out that E. coli ST131 is simply one “resistance gene,” from become “untreatable.”

E. coli, known for the gastrointestinal havoc it wreaks in connection with ground beef, produce, and water, to name some, more often than not turns up outside of the intestines and causes many more infections and deaths, said Dr. Johnson, wrote MSNBC. But, so-called “extra-intestinal E. coli” is linked to some 80-to-90 percent of all UTIs, which are often treated with increased water and cranberry juice, noted MSNBC. When fluids are not successful, antibiotics are typically prescribed, added MSNBC.

A study based on a national sample found that ST131 totaled about 17 percent of all E. coli isolates; however, over 50 percent of bacteria was found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics, including the two most popular UTI treatments and 70 percent were resistant to the toughest treatments: Fluoroquinolones and extended-spectrum cephalosporin, said MSNBC. We’ve long been writing about drug resistance, specifically antibiotic resistance, and how this worrisome trend is becoming more than just worrisome. Antibiotic drug resistance implications are dangerous, deadly, and upon us.

“What’s new about our research is, we’re seeing … there’s more resistance out there,” Johnson said. “What we’ve found is an explanation for that rising resistance: It’s this one strain,” added Johnson, referring to E. coli ST131, quoted MSNBC.

E. coli ST131 is part of a category of “E. coli bacteria that produces enzymes that disable antibiotics,” said MSNBC. These bacteria are referred to as extended-spectrum beta-lactamase—ESBL—that were previously rare and linked the most intense infections, according to Dr. Thomas “Mac” Hooton, a professor of medicine and infectious disease expert at the University of Miami, wrote MSNBC. “Now, ESBL is like a second-language,” Hooton said. “I guarantee that this will be something we’re seeing in five or 10 years and it will be all over the place,” quoted MSNBC. New UTI guidelines are scheduled for issuance by the Infectious Diseases Society of America this fall, said Hooton, wrote MSNBC.

When antibiotics are overused or misused, bacteria mutate, changing just enough to ensure drugs have no effect on them and allowing them a wide berth to spread with increasing power. Although tempting, preventative antibiotic regimes only worsen the epidemic, strengthening the bacteria. Many new drugs are not effective because, as new drugs surface, it’s a matter of time before super bugs become resistant to them, too. Because antibiotics can add to the problem, patients and physicians are advised to be cautious when prescribing, requesting, and taking antibiotics.

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