The researchers accidentally found mcr-9, which is a jumping gene, while analyzing the salmonella’s entire bacterial genome. The new and surreptitious gene is robust and so diabolical that it can restrain one of the world’s only hopes of antibiotics. The antibiotic colistin is the drug the doctors’ shift to when all the other options to fight the infection are exhausted. However, at present, the emergence of resistance against colistin on a globe scale has threatened its efficacy. The last-resort antibiotic was once named as a highest-priority antibiotic in the by the United Nations’ World Health Organization. But the mcr-9 gene has helped the bacteria resent it and risk the antibiotic’s designation. According to Cornell’s Gellert Family Professor Martin Wiedmann, this means the chances of an infected patient’s survival is completely zero.
The mcr-9 in the genome of a strain of foodborne pathogen salmonella was spotted by a Computational Biologist Laura Carroll. It was found that the mcr-9 gene’s DNA sequence was similar to that of the other genes that helped the bacteria obtain resistance against colistin. However, during the experimentation, the mcr-9 containing strain showed no colistin resistance. Then it was assumed that the gene had a jumping property that the bacteria used often. This entire concept of stealthy jumping of a gene has completely perplexed the researchers.
In the mobilized colistin-resistance genes, which was discovered in 2015 the Mcr-9 is the latest of all. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has already added a small piece of information regarding the gene in its database so as to support medical professionals and others use the data to discover mcr-9 in bacteria extracted from food products and people. The database can help scientists develop preventive and treatment measures. If a patient is found resistant then a call for biosecurity and isolation is called upon. A team of researchers from Northwestern University has made BioBits, a set of practical educational kits that will allow students to perform a number of biological experiments using water and simple reagents for freeze-drying cell-free reactions.