The researchers point to the overuse of colistin, a last-resort antibiotic, in farm animals as the suspected source of the mutation.
"All the key players are now in place to make the post-antibiotic world a reality," Timothy Walsh, a professor at the University of Cardiff who worked on the study, told the BBC. "If MRC-1 becomes global, which is a case of when not if, and the gene aligns itself with other antibiotic resistance genes, which is inevitable, then we will have very likely reached the start of the post-antibiotic era. At that point if a patient is seriously ill, say with E. coli, then there is virtually nothing you can do.”
In other words, common bacterial infections could become deadly. Even antibiotics used during surgeries and cancer treatments could be in jeopardy, per the report, which is just wonderful.