Drug-resistant 'Superbug' sparks global fears

Written by: Samyuktha
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Anitbiotic Action
Bangalore, Aug 12: A 'superbug' being detected in people in various countries, after their recent visits to India, has triggered off global fears.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal published a report on Wednesday, Aug 11 on the new gene called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) which according to researchers is resistant to all drugs.

Scientists say that the NDM-1 makes bacteria resistant to nearly all antibiotics, including the most powerful class of carbapenems.

The 'superbug' was first discovered in Jun 2009 in the United States. All three cases detected were that of the patients of Indian descent.

Now, the drug-resistant 'superbug' has reached the United Kingdom. 50 cases of the NDM-1-infected bacteria have been identified in the UK so far.

Scientists and doctors fear the super-resistant strains could spread quickly, reported BBC.

Besides sparking of worldwide health concerns, the 'superbug' poses a threat to India, especially in terms of medical tourism as researchers have warned people against going to the Asian country for medical procedures.

Speaking to an international news agency, Lead researcher Timothy Walsh, from Britain"s Cardiff University, said, “This is a real concern. 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 pipeline to tackle it.

Irked by this, the health experts in India have said it was unfair to blame the existence of a superbug on a particular country.

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