The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it recently detected an antibiotic-resistant strain of E. coli in South Carolina. The agency said the “superbug” was found in the intestines of a pig in the Palmetto State.
University of South Carolina infectious disease researcher Dr. Majdi Al-Hasan told South Carolina Radio Network that more strains are becoming resistant because of overuse of antibiotics. “The biggest thing we can do is really reduce unnecessary consumption of antibiotics,” Al-Hasan said.
He said the strain found is immune to one of the “last resort” antibiotics. “The strain that has resistance to an antibiotic that we really don’t use in clinical practice very often. That’s why we call it a last resort antibiotic,” Al-Hasan said. “Its called Colistin.” He cautioned that overuse of antibiotics to treat viral infections are creating some strains of bacteria that are immune to them.
Al-Hasan said to protect yourself and your family always properly cook meat, keep cooking areas clean and wash your hands.
Dr. Al-Hasan is an associate professor of internal medicine at the USC School of Medicine and director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Palmetto Health.