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New superbug spreading from India

Posted by feww on August 11, 2010

A new, untreatable superbug has reached Britain from India and could spread globally: Scientists

A new gene called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, or NDM-1, has been found in patients in South Asia and in Britain, researchers say.

“NDM-1 makes bacteria highly resistant to almost all antibiotics, including the most powerful class called carbapenems, and experts say there are no new drugs on the horizon to tackle it.” A report said.

The so-called medical tourism is partly blamed for the spread  of the NDM-1 superbug which could soon spread globally, according to Timothy Walsh, the study’s lead researcher from Britain’s Cardiff University.

“At a global level, this is a real concern,” Walsh said.

“Because of medical tourism and international travel in general, resistance to these types of bacteria has the potential to spread around the world very, very quickly. And there is nothing in the (drug development) pipeline to tackle it.”

“India [and Thailand] also provides cosmetic surgery for other Europeans and Americans, and it is likely NDM-1 will spread worldwide,” the study reported.

NDM-1-producing bacteria are resistant to just about every kind of antibiotics including carbapenems, “the scientists said, a class of the drugs often reserved for emergency use and to treat infections caused by other multi-resistant bugs like MRSA and C-Difficile.”

C. difficile kills three times as many people as MRSA


Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency show there were 55,681 cases of Clostridium difficile infection reported in patients aged 65 years and above in England in 2006. (Source: SIMeL Italy)


The bacteria are naturally present in the intestine but kept under control by other bacteria. Antibiotics can kill some of these, allowing C.difficile to take hold. Image source and other images. Click image to enlarge.

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