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BREAKING: MCR-9 Gene found in Georgia sewer could cause a new global health crisis, scientists say

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ATHENS, Ga.¬†–¬†University of Georgia scientists have found a gene that causes bacteria to be resistant to one of the world’s most important antibiotics in sewer water in Georgia.

Researchers say they discovered the MCR-9 gene, which causes resistance to colistin, while testing sewage water in an urban environment in Georgia.

The gene was found in bacteria known as Morganella morganii, which is concerning because officials say this is the first known time MCR has been discovered in this specific bacteria and could mean that the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is more widespread than currently believed.

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According to UGA, assistant professor Issmat Kassem’s team found evidence of the gene in the very first sample they took during their tests.

According to Kassem, the genes can be transmitted on bacteria found on food, animals, or travelers. While officials do test most imports for viruses or bacteria, the danger of MCR-9 is that it can be hidden in harmless bacteria and then transferred to very dangerous strains.

The MCR gene can be transmitted from one type of bacteria to another, meaning that harmful bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella could possibly carry it and become potentially deadly.

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