Colistin: No longer a drug of last resort?
Colistin (Polymyxin E), an antibiotic has been mentioned widely in the news recently. Colistin is not a new drug; it has actually been around for 50 years but was shelved early on due to kidney toxicity. By reason of this market absence, it had been among the few antibiotics to which some Gram negative bacterial strains had not developed resistance. Due to its toxicity it has been limited to use in animal feed. Colistin is especially popular in China where it is made cheaply for both agricultural and veterinary use. The news of bacterial resistance to Colistin was discovered by Chinese researchers.
What does this mean? Well, first let’s look to see how antibiotics actually work…