German E. coli Outbreak is Multiple Drug Resistant
New research has recently confirmed that the E. coli from the German outbreak had multiple-drug resistance. This is called a multi-drug resistant organism. The current conspiracy theory circulating that this means that the E. coli organism had to have been genetically modified by corporate or terrorist forces is unfounded, according to multiple studies.
E. coli can cause a number of conditions, including urinary tract infections.
Plasmids and drug resistance
There are many species of microorganisms that have been shown to become multi-drug resistant. Microorganisms become multiple-drug resistant because they exchange DNA packets called plasmids.
These plasmids give them the ability to develop tools to evade a specific antibiotic or group of antibiotics. Because microorganisms of the same species will travel, and because the readily exchange these plasmids, a particular microorganism can easily become resistant to many types of antibiotics. Researchers have seen MDROs have resistance to more than ten different antibiotics or antibiotic families.
Furthermore, many different microorganisms have developed multi-drug antibiotic resistance. Some of the more dangerous MDROs include species of Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and others – in addition to Escherichia coli. Superbugs such as MRSA are only the tip of the bacterial iceberg, as it were.
Resistant E. coli strains
Illustrating this, a study performed by researchers from India’s Department of Veterinary Microbiology, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Anand Agricultural University overseen by professor Dr. Ashish Roy, measured antibiotic resistance among 41 different Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains. They found that every strain was resistant to at least 3 antibiotics, and many strains were resistant to many more, up to twelve. Among the antibiotics they had resistance to was:
The EHEC O104 strain – the main strain said to be responsible for the outbreak – was one of the strains of proven MRDOs tested. The study was published in the Journal Zoonoses Public Health, and has been cited by a number of respected researchers.
In another study, this one by researchers from Japan’s Osaka City University Medical School, and published in the Journal, Epidemiology and Infection, also found many multi-drug resistant strains of E. coli.
This study analyzed 455 Escherichia coli strains isolated from pigs. They found that many of the strains were resistant to chloramphenicol, ampicillin, kanamycin, trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole, ofloxacin and gentamicin among others.
They found that many of the E. coli strains had multi-drug resistance to up to seven antimicrobial drugs at once.
Arya G, Roy A, Choudhary V, Yadav MM, Joshi CG. Serogroups, atypical biochemical characters, colicinogeny and antibiotic resistance pattern of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from diarrhoeic calves in Gujarat, India. Zoonoses Public Health. 2008;55(2):89-98.
Kumai Y, Suzuki Y, Tanaka Y, Shima K, Bhadra RK, Yamasaki S, Kuroda K, Endo G. Characterization of multidrug-resistance phenotypes and genotypes of Escherichia coli strains isolated from swine from an abattoir in Osaka, Japan. Epidemiol Infect. 2005 Feb;133(1):59-70.