Superbug should not have been named New Delhi: Lancet Editor

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) The editor of leading medicaljournal Lancet today apologised for the naming of anantibiotic resistant superbug after the Indian capital, sayingit was an error.

A report in the magazine last year about the superbugNew Delhi metallo-beta-lactamese-I originating in India hadcreated an uproar in the country.

"The science behind the report was very strong, soundand correct. But it should not have been named after a city,"Dr Richard Horton told reporters here.

"It was an error and I apologise for it. I think itshould be renamed, but it should be up to the microbiologists(who discovered the superbug)," he said.

After the article was published last August, with theHealth Ministry came out with a hard-hitting statement againstit, saying the contents of the article present a "frighteningpicture which is not supported by any scientific data".

Its lead author Karthikeyan Kumarasawamy alsodismissed as hypothetical the conclusion that the bacteria wastransmitted from the country and said some interpretationswere made without his knowledge.

He also said some interpretations in the report werewritten without his knowledge.

Karthikeyan, research student at AL Mudaliarpostgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, co-authoredthe research article with Timothy Walsh, published in Lancet.

The Department of Health in the UK had put out analert on the issue, raising the hackles of the Indian medicalfraternity.

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