KCBS_740 SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — There is now a strain of E. coli that is resistant to the one antibiotic that seemed to work on everything.

The red flags started going up when scientists found a few strains of E coli that were resistant to all antibiotics except for Colistin – that was the one weapon in our arsenal that still worked.

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“Now, we see some strains also resistant to Colistin. That’s a bad thing,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said.

Schaffner said the greater issue is our over use of antibiotics that results in this type of resistance.

“We’re trying to create incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to get back in the game of antibiotic research,” Schaffner said.

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The notion of just develop a new antibiotic is a lot easier said than done.

“The antibiotics that were easy to discover – they’ve been discovered. So, developing new ones takes much more work, which of course means much more expensive,” Schaffner said.

Many are looking to genetic research as the next hope for developing new antibiotics and tracking the problem as it occurs.

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