Musings of an autodidact

Ars Technica takes on bad science journalism

Biology300Ars Technica: No, this isn’t the start of the antibiotic apocalypse, just bad reporting

Since the initial report, mcr-1-toting bacteria have been discovered on every continent. And the infected PA woman, who was suffering from a urinary tract infection, had not traveled in the last five months.

But this may or may not be concerning. It’s important to note that we don’t know exactly how long mcr-1 has been hanging around in bacteria or where it first came from. It may have spread around the globe in months or been lying low and spreading quietly for years. Either way, it was inevitable and expected that mcr-1-carrying bacteria would pop up in the US. (Although, in weeks of testing other bacteria from the Pennsylvania clinic where the patient was identified, no other mcr-1-carrying bacteria have been found.)

 

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