View Full Version : Scientists find new superbug spreading from India

08-11-2010, 01:37 PM
Scientists find new superbug spreading from India

By Kate Kelland and Ben Hirschler

LONDON | Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:07am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - A new superbug could spread around the world after reaching Britain from India -- in part because of medical tourism -- and scientists say there are almost no drugs to treat it.

Researchers said on Wednesday they had found a new gene called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, or NDM-1, in patients in South Asia and in Britain.

NDM-1 makes bacteria highly resistant to almost all antibiotics, including the most powerful class called carbapenems, and experts say there are no new drugs on the horizon to tackle it.

With international travel in search of cheaper healthcare increasing, particularly for procedures such as cosmetic surgery, Timothy Walsh, who led the study, said he feared the new superbug could soon spread across the globe.

"At a global level, this is a real concern," Walsh, from Britain's Cardiff University, said in telephone interview.

"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 (drug development) pipeline to tackle it."

Almost as soon as the first antibiotic penicillin was introduced in the 1940s, bacteria began to develop resistance to its effects, prompting researchers to develop many new generations of antibiotics.

But their overuse and misuse have helped fuel the rise of drug-resistant "superbug" infections like methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA).

In a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal on Wednesday, Walsh's team found that NDM-1 is becoming more common in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan and is also being imported back to Britain in patients returning after treatment.

"India also provides cosmetic surgery for other Europeans and Americans, and it is likely NDM-1 will spread worldwide," the scientists wrote in the study.

Cue the panic.....

Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67A0YU20100811)

08-11-2010, 01:42 PM
West Nile, SARS, H1N1, and now NDM-1. Anyone wanna take a bet on what the super bug next year will be?

08-11-2010, 01:53 PM
West Nile, SARS, H1N1, and now NDM-1. Anyone wanna take a bet on what the super bug next year will be?


08-11-2010, 02:45 PM
Now we are even outsourcing our diseases to India?

08-11-2010, 03:23 PM
We should worry right now about TB. One of my coworkers had a case that involved a person who was possibly exposed to it. It's never really been defeated totally, and there are still active cases out there, in Detroit and in other places. The men's prison in Coldwater had to deal with it about a decade ago.