CHA News Article

Providers Reminded to Detect, Prevent Transmission of Resistant Bacteria
CDC guidance available on bacteria with the mcr-1 gene

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has alerted health care providers that the mcr-1 gene was found in bacteria collected from a California patient in early 2016. This gene makes bacteria resistant to colistin, one of the few “last resort” antibiotics available to treat bacteria that are resistant to many others. Particularly concerning is the fact that this gene is carried on a mobile piece of genetic material that can be transmitted between bacteria — leading to further resistance. In the 2016 case, investigation determined that the mcr-1 was likely travel-associated; CDPH identified no evidence of spread in the community or health care facilities in California. However, CDPH reminds providers to review Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for detecting and preventing transmission of bacteria with the mcr-1 gene, including infection prevention, laboratory testing and validation of laboratory testing.

Health care facilities should report suspected or confirmed cases of mcr-1 producing bacteria to their local health department and the CDPH Healthcare-Associated Infections Program at; the program can also assist with coordination of mcr-1 testing at the CDC if such testing is not available locally.