Stating that The Lancet medical journal has identified a new gene that enables some types of bacteria to be highly resistant to almost all antibiotics, the WHO has called for the monitoring of the superbug that surfaced in South Asia and spread to Britain.
"While multi-drug resistant bacteria are not new and will continue to appear, this development requires monitoring and further study to understand the extent and modes of transmission, and to define the most effective measures for control," the WHO said in a statement.
The UN Health Agency has alerted the whole health care chain, including patients, hospitals, governments, laboratories, pharmaceutical firms and vetenarians "to the problem of antimicrobial resistance and take appropriate action."
Noting that the multi-drug resistant bacteria generally "constitute a growing and global public health problem," the WHO has stressed on the the importance of hospital infection control measures to limit the spread of such resistant strains.
It has advised prudent use of antibiotics to reduce the generation of resistant bacteria.
Besides these measures, the global health watchdog has also emphasised on steps like hand washing in health care facilities to control the multi-drug resistant bacteria.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal published a report on the new gene dubbed New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) on Aug 11. The Superbug is said to have spread from India and other South Asian countries through medical tourism. Patients, especially who underwent plastic surgery in South Asia, were detected with the superbug in United States and United Kingdom.