The difficulty in subduing the pandemic strain of drug-resistant E. coli, called H30, may go beyond patient vulnerability or antibiotic resistance. This form of the disease-pathogen may have an intrinsic ability to cause persistent, harmful, even deadly infections.
This is an electron micrograph of a single E. coli bacterium of the pandemic H30 strain. The pathogen, which largely infects the urinary tract, can cause mild or no symptoms, but later serious complications might set in. H30 E. coli infections are more common in the elderly.
Credit: Dagmara Kisiela/Univeristy of Washington