UPDATE 1-G7 told to act on antibiotics as dreaded superbug hits U.S.

Fri May 27, 2016 4:30am EDT
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* Cameron urges G7 to back reward system for new drugs

* U.S. sees first case of resistance to last-resort drug

* Antimicrobial resistance moving up political agenda (Adds details on problem in U.S., China and Europe)

By Kylie MacLellan and Ben Hirschler

ISE-SHIMA, Japan/LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) - Britain told the G7 industrial powers on Friday to do more to fight killer superbugs as the United States reported the first case in the country of a patient with bacteria resistant to a last-resort antibiotic.

U.S. scientists said the infection in a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman "heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria" because it could not be controlled even by colistin, an antibiotic reserved for "nightmare" bugs.

In Japan, British Prime Minister David Cameron said leading countries needed to tackle resistance by reducing the use of antibiotics and rewarding drug companies for developing new medicines.

"In too many cases antibiotics have stopped working. That means people are dying of simple infections or conditions like TB (tuberculosis), tetanus, sepsis, infections that should not mean a death sentence," he told a news conference at a summit in Japan.

"If we do nothing about this there will be a cumulative hit to the world economy of $100 trillion and it is potentially the end of modern medicine as we know it."   Continued...