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Posts Tagged ‘germs’

New “Superbug” Leaves India and Travels to England

by admin on: March 16th, 2011

An article currently ???in press??? in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases reports on the emergence of a new antibiotic-resistant ???superbug??? that has been found in India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. This new superbug is a member of the gram-negative Enterobacteriacease that possesses resistance to carbapenem conferred by New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamse 1 (NDM-1). The emergence of these superbugs is of global concern, and several clinical microbiologists are stating that these gram-negative bacteria pose the greatest risk to public health.

The aforementioned gene found in certain kinds of bacteria, NDM-1, can confer the ability to produce a chemical that can render many antibiotics useless. The authors of this article studied Enterobacteriaceae isolates from two major regions in India, Chennai, and Haryana, as well as reviewing the data from the United Kingdom and Pakistan. Of the isolates studied, 44 isolates positive for NDM-1 were found in Chennai, 26 NDM-1 positive isolates where found in Haryana, 37 NDM-1 positive isolates were found in the United Kingdom, and 73 NDM-1 isolates were found in Pakistan and in locations in India.

While drug-resistant superbugs are not necessarily ???new??? to public health officials, most of focus surrounding superbugs has centered on one superbug in particular???methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus???which is also known as MRSA. The concern has been on MRSA mainly because MRSA can kill patients. In fact, between the years of 1999 and 2005, there were approximately 278,203 patients who were hospitalized for MRSA-related infections in the United States. The reason given as to how these superbugs develop antibiotic resistance is the indiscriminate use of antibiotics by patients.

While the emergence of superbugs may seem more common as of late, the concern is when the superbug has the potential to cause disease. Current evidence shows that this ???new??? (NDM-1) superbug may cause urinary-tract infections that could be serious, but there is insufficient evidence indicating that it is deadly.