While sifting through the bacterial genome of salmonella, National Science Foundation-funded food scientists discovered mcr-9, a new, stealthy jumping gene so diabolical and robust that it resists one of the world's few last-resort antibiotics. Doctors deploy the antibiotic colistin when all other infection-fighting options are exhausted. But resistance to colistin has emerged around the globe, threatening its efficacy. Mcr-9 is the latest in this new series of "mobilized colistin-resistance" genes -- originally discovered in 2015. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, part of the National Institutes of Health, has added details about this new gene to its database. Medical professionals and others can now use this information to identify mcr-9 in bacteria isolated from food products and people. Details about mcr-9 in national and international databases enable scientists to develop better prevention and treatment.
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