Rare, frightening superbug gene discovered on US pig farm
by: JD Heyes
Sunday, January 01, 2017
Several medical researchers and scientists have been warning frequently in recent years that the so-called “superbugs” are proliferating across the world faster than modern medicine can stamp them out, due in large part to massive overuse of antibiotics.
Well, another one has been discovered by researchers: a superbug described as very rare and frightening, and of all places, on a pig farm.
As reported by NBC News, the discovery may mean that raw meat could transfer the dangerous superbugs to humans through consumption.
Researchers said they did not find any pigs that are scheduled to be slaughtered carrying the mutant gene, and they could find no sick pigs. Also, they have not yet found any threat to humans at present. All that said, the researchers noted that the mutant should not have been on the farm in the first place, adding that they had no clue how the superbug got there.
Soon to infect humans?
“It is an extremely rare gene. How it got on this farm, we don’t know,” Thomas Wittum, head of the veterinary medicine team at The Ohio State University—who led the study team—told NBC News.
The gene is called bla IMP-27; it allows bacteria to resist the effects of a certain class of antibiotics called carbapenems, considered a last resort antibiotic, meaning germs that can resist the class are extremely difficult to kill.