Emergence of Plasmid-Mediated Colistin Resistance (MCR-1) Among Escherichia Coli Isolated From South African Patients

S Afr Med J. 2016 Apr 19;106(5):35-6. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i5.10710.


The polymyxin antibiotic colistin is an antibiotic of last resort for the treatment of extensively drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, including carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. The State of the World's Antibiotics report in 2015 highlighted South Africa (SA)'s increasing incidence of these 'superbugs' (3.2% of Klebsiella pneumoniae reported from SA were carbapenemase producers), and in doing so, underscored SA's increasing reliance on colistin as a last line of defence. Colistin resistance effectively renders such increasingly common infections untreatable.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Colistin / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / microbiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasmids
  • Public Health
  • South Africa


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • MCR-1 protein, E coli
  • Colistin