A recent study in the medical journal Lancet Infectious Diseases informs that the enzyme NDM-1 (New Delhi-Metallo-1) is resistant to powerful antibiotic drugs. NDM-1 is a new “Superbug” first found in the South Asian environment and has now emerged into Britain’s environment. The Lancet study cited that many of the UK cases, related to people who had returned from surgery in India or Pakistan.
Until now, clinicians have fought superbugs with antibiotics and have been able to fall back on a very powerful drug called carbapenems. Bacteria carrying NDM-a, often E.coli, are resistant to carbapenems and other antibiotics.
There are fears that there are no drugs to address this superbug and researchers have called for worldwide surveillance to help develop an effective response to the outbreak. Whilst there have been less than 50 cases reported within the UK, it is feared that the bug could spread quickly and the BBC advised that the best course of preventative action is excellent hygiene.
According to one report, NDM-1 can move from one bacterium to another and so experts are worried that it may attach itself to more dangerous diseases thus causing them to become more resistant to antibiotics.
Dr. David Livermore, a researcher who works for the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) said: “The NDM-1 problem is likely to get progressively worse in the foreseeable future. The potential for wider international spread and for NDM-1 to become endemic worldwide are clear and frightening.” The researchers further stated in a recent report that infections had already been passed from patient to patient in UK hospitals.
A molecular genetics professor of the University of Birmingham was not linked to the study in question but commented that we could be at the beginning of another wave of antibiotic resistance. Thankfully the number of outbreaks in the UK is very small, but as Thomas stated, better surveillance and infection control procedures may help to halt the spread of NDM-1.
Last year The Daily Telegraph reported on 22 patients in Britain who had the bug and that government scientists had issued an alert to hospitals to test for it and limit its spread. The NDM-1 enzyme had now been tracked to Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Britain proving that the problem could now be more wide spread than originally thought.
The just4theplanet team usually search out environmental and conversation issues for our followers; however we felt this information of great importance. It would appear that the overall advice is to be highly vigilant with hygiene when in hospitals to help prevent contamination.
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