03/07/2013

PHE Launch Resistant E. Coli Investigation

Public Health England has launched a UK-wide investigation into the spread of an antibiotic-resistant strain of E. coli.

With experts warning there is a growing risk in hospitals, the study will look at the spread of the resistant strain in healthy people, patients, farm animals, sewage and slurry.

The series of studies will look at ESBL-producing E. coli. They make enzymes called Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases which can break down antibiotics such as penicillin.

The levels of ESBL-positive E. coli started increasing around a decade ago, with some 10% of E.coli related illnesses now thought to be resistant.

(MH/JP)

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