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Scientists discover new ‘jumping’ superbug gene
“In treatments, if colistin does not work, it literally could mean death for patients. If colistin resistance spreads, a lot of people will die.”
mcr-9 can cause resistance to colistin 

US food scientists have discovered mcr-9, a new ‘jumping gene’ that can cause resistance to the last resort antibiotic colistin.

Cornell University researchers found mcr-9 in the genome of a strain of salmonella. To their surprise, the salmonella strain did not show colistin resistance.

However, when the gene was inserted into a non-pathogenic strain of E coli, researchers were able to ‘turn on’ mcr-9, making the strain resistant to colistin.

The findings have been published in the journal Mbio.

Co-lead author Laura Carroll said: “When we originally tested the salmonella isolate and found that it wasn’t resistant to colistin, we were perplexed. But when [co-lead author Ahmed Gabella] cloned it into an E. coli host, he was able to find that the gene could confer resistance to colistin.”

Commenting on the findings, Professor Martin Wiedmann said: “In treatments, if colistin does not work, it literally could mean death for patients. If colistin resistance spreads, a lot of people will die.”

mcr-9 is the latest in a string of ‘mobilised colistin-resistance genes’ first discovered in 2015.

The National Centre for Biotechnology Information added details of the new gene to its database, so that it can be used to identify the gene in bacteria isolated from food and people.

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Registrations open for overseas veterinary professionals course

News Story 1
 Registrations are now open for the RCVS CPD course for overseas veterinary professionals, which covers an introduction to the UK veterinary professions.

The course is aimed at overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons and nurses during their first two years of working in the UK, in addition to those considering working here. It provides graduates with the key information and skills required to practice in the UK, as well as helping them understand their legal duties as veterinary professionals.

For more information and to book your place please click here. The course will be held at Belgravia House, London, on Wednesday 12 June.  

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New online guides provide advice for dog owners

A series of downloadable leaflets for dog owners have been produced by veterinary charity PetSavers in a bid to reduce the temptation to seek advice online.

The series entitled ‘My Dog’s Got’ offers practical information on an array of topics, including ‘My dog has dental disease,’ ‘My dog has itchy skin,’ and My dog has kidney disease.’

The new guides can be downloaded here. Printed versions of the new guides can be ordered by veterinary practices in exchange for a donation to PetSavers.