TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Two new strains of deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been found in the blood of patients in China, reported Infections.nz.
According to the report, a team of scientists at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China led by Centre of Infectious Diseases physician Dr. Wenjing Wu found two unknown species of Enterobacteriaceae in two different patients. The two new strains of bacteria were found to be impervious to penicillin and the cephalosporin group of antibiotics in the lab.
Enterobacteriaceae are found in the gut and are generally harmless, however, if they spread to the blood stream they can cause meningitis or if they reach the lungs, they can cause pneumonia. Scientists are concerned that these new strains of superbugs could make such dangerous infections much harder to halt and potentially lead to sepsis.
The two new species of Enterobacteriaceae discovered by the Chinese scientists are Enterobacter huaxiensis and Enterobacter chuandaensis. The two new strains were found in blood samples of patients during a routine medical checkup at West China Hospital.
The new strains were named after region they were found in (Huaxi) and the university involved in the research (Chuanda, Sichuan University). Scientists discovered that the strains had a unique DNA signature and they differed from other species in the way they "break down certain sugars and potassium salts," according to the report.
The overprescription of antibiotics in China and around the world has led to the evolution of superbugs, which are becoming immune to virtually all antibiotics. The World Health Organization (WHO), which refuses to admit Taiwan due to pressure from China, has warned that if significant steps are not taken soon, the world could be heading for a "post-anitbiotic" era.