The mcr-1 gene, believed to be transmitted from animals to people, has built up an antibiotic resistance according to scientific reports.

That means that it is less likely to be killed by the medication which normally tackles infections. It's a growing issue thanks to the overuse of antibiotics by people worldwide for decades and means antibiotic resistant superbugs now kill an estimated 700,000 people worldwide. And the UN has warned that number could rocket to 10 million by 2050, The Mirror reports.

Experts are now warning of a scenario in which humans can catch the mcr-1 bug, first identified by China in 2015.

Dogs can harbour mcr-1 in the their gut before it's transported via microscopic faecal particles.

A study at the University of Lisbon found that in two of the households where dogs had tissue infections, the gene was present in both the dog and its owner.

Dog owners are being urged not to share a bed with their pets

Getty Dog owners are being urged not to share a bed with their pets

Faecal samples were taken from 126 healthy people that were living with 102 cats and dogs in 80 households over a period of two years up to February 2020.

It was found that eight of the dogs and four humans were hosting bacteria including mcr-1.

The results also showed that three of the dogs appeared to be healthy and the others had tissue or urinary tract infections.

The findings were presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Conference.

Experts told attendees that agricultural regions particularly in southern European countries that use Colistin will be less likely to contract the mcr-1 gene.

Dr Juliana Menezes, who led the research, said: “Colistin is used when all other antibiotics have failed, it is a crucial treatment of last resort.

“If bacteria resistant to all drugs acquire this resistance gene, they would become untreatable, and that’s a scenario we must avoid at all costs.

“We know that the overuse of antibiotics drives resistance and it is vital that they are used responsibly, not just in medicine but also in veterinary medicine and in farming.”