- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2016

A woman in Pennsylvania stunned health officials when she recently showed up in a hospital with a form of E. coli bacteria that is often resistant to “last resort” antibiotics.

Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy published findings on Thursday of a 49-year-old patient afflicted with the “nightmare bacteria” CRE last month. The E. coli, which is usually resistant to Colistin, was luckily treated with other antibiotics.

“[This case] basically shows us that the end of the road isn’t very far away for antibiotics — that we may be in a situation where we have patients in our intensive-care units, or patients getting urinary tract infections for which we do not have antibiotics,” CDC Director Tom Frieden told the Washington Post on Thursday.

CRE is considered a “superbug” that is known to kill up to 50 percent of infected patients. It has contaminated meat products in Africa, Canada, Europe, and South America. The bacteria has also been found in a small number of humans in China, the newspaper reported.

“We are taking the emergence of this resistance gene very seriously,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. The Democrat said his administration has been working with the CDC and the Department of Defense for an “appropriate and collaborative” response.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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