A bacteria which causes bladder and blood infections could evolve and become resistant to almost all antibiotics, Queensland researchers say.
A rapidly spreading superbug that causes bladder and blood infections could evolve and become untreatable.
Queensland researchers found a strain of E. coli was one gene away from becoming resistant to almost all drugs.
The bacteria had evolved and spread rapidly worldwide over the past five years.
Study co-author Dr Nouri Ben Zakour says the spread of the multi-drug resistant ST131 strain could lead to a spike in urinary tract and blood infections.
“More than 150 million cases of urinary tract infection are reported globally every year,” Dr Zakour, from the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, said.
“So an E. coli resistant to all currently effective antibiotic treatments could be devastating to the community.”
The University of Queensland research will be used to develop detection tests.
The study was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.