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Genes resistant to last-resort antibiotic colistin may already exist naturally, say researchers in a new article in mBio. That means bacteria can develop resistance to the antibiotic without being exposed to it.

Several strains of colistin-resistant bacteria have been found on Chinese pig farms. The latest carries a resistance gene, known as mcr-3, that is frighteningly similar to a gene that naturally occurs in water bacteria. In other words, colistin resistance could exist everywhere.

Now, study author Yang Wang of China Agricultural University plans to isolate the water bacteria gene to determine whether it causes colistin resistance.

Source: The Atlantic

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