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New superbug resistant to strongest antibiotics
« Thread started on: Aug 11th, 2010, 7:54pm »
A new bacteria that has emerged in India — dubbed NDM-1 and which is resistant to even the strongest antibiotics — is quickly spreading worldwide, British researchers say in a report published in the medical journal The Lancet.
Two cases have been identified in Canada, one in Alberta and the other in the Vancouver area, and a Canadian medical researcher says that anyone in this country who has been treated in hospitals in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh should visit a doctor to look for the superbug.
Cardiff University investigators in Wales say that in just 2 1/2 years, NDM-1 has been identified in 37 people in the United Kingdom, at least 17 of whom had travelled to India or to Pakistan earlier to undergo surgery. The first case was identified in 2008 when European doctors found the bacteria in a Swedish patient who had surgery in New Delhi.
Another 140 cases were recorded in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Infected patients were also identified in Australia, U.S., Holland and Sweden, illustrating the superbug's potential to exponentially sweep the planet, said Mark Toleman, a co-author of the report. The fact that it has been identified in several countries in a two-year span is already "significant," Toleman said.
Scientists are sounding warning bells because they're convinced the bacteria, one of the most stubborn and mobile they're discovered so far, will likely lead to a "major global health problem."
"The potential for wider international spread is clear and frightening," their report states.
Added Toleman: "Through the years, we've seen a number of new resistant genes, but this one is very different. In some ways, it turns us back to before the antibiotic era. It's a very real concern."
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/superbug+resistant+strongest+antibiotics/3384796/story.html#ixzz0wLfOTiKt