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Medicine's final line of defense against deadly disease has been breached, raising the specter of a global epidemic, scientists say, after finding bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics.Liu and his colleagues found a gene, called MCR-1, that allows bacteria to become resistant to a class of antibiotics known as polymyxins, which are used to fight superbugs.The gene, which was detected in common but deadly bacteria such as E. Coli and K. Pneumoniae -- the cause of pneumonia and blood diseases -- effectively makes bacteria invincible.More than 20 percent of bacteria in the animal samples, and 15 percent of the raw meat samples, had the telltale mcr-1 gene.The lower infection rate among humans almost certainly means that the resistant bacteria passed from animals to humans, the study found.
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