What is it about?

Colistin resistance presents a significant public health threat. As a last-resort antibiotic, resistance to colistin is particularly alarming and has been linked to its use in animal industries. In response, many poultry-dominant countries, including Bangladesh, have banned colistin use. Despite this ban, colistin-resistant E. coli (CREC) is still being reported in poultry facilities, live birds, and poultry meat. This study explores whether rats, a major concern in poultry farming, are contributing to the transfer of colistin resistance in poultry production.

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Why is it important?

This study investigated the presence of colistin-resistant mcr-1 E. coli in rats, highlighting the importance of tracking environmental reservoirs and identifying potential sources of multidrug-resistant CREC in the food industry, particularly in poultry facilities with compromised biosecurity. Understanding these sources is crucial for developing strategies to prevent CREC contamination in the poultry industry beyond illegal antibiotic use.


This study is the first to identify mcr-1 colistin-resistant E. coli (CREC) in rats and to detect the mcr-1 gene on a novel plasmid in Bangladesh. These findings have critical implications for preventing CREC in the poultry industry. It's really a great pleasure to publish such a time worthy finding, however, more extensive research, involving a larger sample size and wider geographic coverage, is necessary to accurately assess the threat and devise effective strategies to mitigate the spread of CREC.

Jayedul Hassan
Bangladesh Agricultural University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: First detection and characterization of mcr-1 colistin resistant E. coli from wild rat in Bangladesh, PLoS ONE, May 2024, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0296109.
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