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BBC News Review: Threat from new superbug reviews

A new superbug has been discovered in the US. Neil and Sian look at how the world’s media is reacting and pick out the words and phrases you need to talk about the story. For more, visit our website:

The story

Health officials in the United States say a superbug resistant to all known antibiotics has been found in the country for the first time.

The case involves a woman infected with a strain of the e-coli bacteria resistant to Colisten, an antibiotic of last resort.

Laura Bicker – BBC News

The female patient tested positive for a strain of e-coli that’s resistant to the antibiotic known as colisten. The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said it was an old antibiotic, but the only one left to treat what they described as a “nightmare bacteria”.

Researchers are worried that the antibiotic resistant gene found in the bacteria known as MCR1 could easily spread. That could create a superbug capable of evading all types of antibiotics.

The deadly strain has already been found in China and Europe. Officials say unless there’s urgent action and more research, some infections could eventually become untreatable.
Key words and phrases

not affected or harmed by something

a drug that is used to kill harmful bacteria and to cure infections

(here) a group of closely related plants or animals

a type of bacteria that cannot be treated using antibiotics


resistant to drugs

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