Drug Resistance Gene Has Spread from East Coast to Midwest

Published: Sep 20, 2007

St. Louis, Sept. 18, 2007 -- A resistance gene that allows bacteria to beat an important class of antibiotics has started to appear in microorganisms taken from Midwestern patients, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Less than a decade ago, scientists first noticed the BlaKPC gene in bacteria taken from East Coast patients. They found bacteria with an active copy of the gene could defeat carbapenems, a relatively young family of antibiotics that works on a wide variety of bacteria. Physicians generally reserve carbapenems for use in the most critically ill patients.

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