New kind of germs in India spreading to West

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London, Aug 11: An international team of scientists reported that the people who travel to India and Pakistan for cheaper health care may be at risk from a new type of drug-resistant bacteria.

The study in the journal Lancet revealed that the researchers found a gene that enables the bacteria to resist treatment with a class of antibiotics called carbapenems in 1.9 percent of samples from patients in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Haryana.

Researchers analyzed 37 patients in the United Kingdom, who had received treatment at hospitals in India and Pakistan, and found resistant strains in them.

"In the last three to four years, this kind of resistance has increased dramatically in India and continues to increase. The possibility of this becoming a global problem very quickly is immense," said Walsh, a professor of medical microbiology and antimicrobial resistance at Cardiff University in Wales.

"As the number increases of patients who travel to countries such as India for cheaper medical treatment, they need to know there is a risk of infection while staying in a hospital," said David Livermore, director of the antibiotic resistance monitoring unit at the UK"s Health Protection Agency.

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