State health officials have identified a highly resistant strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria in a Minnesota patient. The strain is resistant to almost all antibiotics.
State epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield says the discovery is troubling because the resistance can spread to other similar bacteria, making them resistant as well.
"We don't have a lot of new antibiotics coming down the pike. And so we all really have a role in preserving the antibiotics that we have, and giving them the longest lifespan that they can have," said Lynfield.
She says the good news is that in this case, the patient's infection did not spread.
"Other patients were swabbed looking for it and it wasn't found, so there was no spread. So very good infection control measures did make a difference," said Lynfield.
Last year, two Minnesotans and a patient from North Dakota contracted a resistant form of meningococcal disease.
The Health Department says the best way to prevent antibiotic resistance is to use antibiotics judiciously and practice good infection-control measures.