A Superbug That Resisted 26 Antibiotics

Title:    A Superbug That Resisted 26 Antibiotics


Source: NPR.com

Summary:  A 70- year-old woman was hospitalized in Reno, Nevada with a superbug that was resistant to all 26 antibiotics that are available in the United States. The strain was even resistant to carpananbems; antibiotics usually given as a last resort against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Connections:  In class, we learned about different antibiotics and how they work to treat different bacterial infections. We also learned about antibiotics resistance, and pathogen’s abilities to circumvent antibiotic treatments. This superbug must have had mechanisms to avoid the chemicals in all antibiotics available to us.

Critical analysis:  Since this article is from NPR, I would assume it’s meant for the general public. I think it does a good job of communicating the concepts of antibiotic resistance simply enough for someone who may not have an interest in microbiology to understand. As far as I can tell, there are no inaccuracies in this article.

Questions:  This article made me wonder what kind of physiological methods that this particular strain of bacteria had that made it resistant to antibiotics. The article also mentions that CRE infections are most common in India and parts of China. Since some parts of these countries may not have access to a wide variety of antibiotics, how are superbugs occurring there? If they haven’t been exposed to all antibiotics, how are they developing resistance to them?

1 Comment for “A Superbug That Resisted 26 Antibiotics”

Chelsea Brown


My first impression after reading your post was that it was really scary that superbugs exist. I was not aware until after reading this article that “we’re already off the cliff” and that resistance is already happening. I also thought the article was pretty straight forward and emphasized the importance of using antibiotics correctly.

After doing some research i found some bacteria naturally have resistance to antibiotics even without coming into contact with them with was my initial thought. It is also possible that even in countries where there are not a lot of antibiotics given by doctors, people can still order them online and possibly take them for the wrong reason therefore creating a resistance that way. Finally, bacteria can conjugate with other bacteria where they can transfer genes encoding resistance to antibiotics.