India

WHO Official Says Superbug in Delhi Remains ‘Global Concern’

New Delhi: The New Delhi superbug remains “a global concern” because of its resistance to all available antibiotics in the world, according to a senior World Health Organisation (WHO) official.

India’s premier news agency PTI has quoted Dr Carmem Lucia Pessoa Da Silva, the a WHO official in the department of global alter and response, as saying: “The ‘New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1)’ bacteria carrying these mechanisms is a gene that includes the possibility of making anti-microbials not effective.”

The NDM-1 carrying the gene has already been identified in several patients and countries, she said.

WHO today launched the Global Infection Prevention Control Network to address the growing threat from serious infectious epidemics like SARS (severe anti-respiratory syndrome) which spread to several countries over seven years ago, and anti-microbial resistance.

The NDM-1 became a huge controversy in India last year after a study was published in Lancet, a British medical journal about this new global public health threat.

The Lancet study carried out by a multi-national team reported the spread of bacterial carrying NDM-1 gene that was resistant to multiple different classes of antibiotics.

However, the Union Health Ministry severely contested the findings of the Lancet study which showed that the gene had originated in India. It described the Lancet’s conclusions as “unfair” maintaining that Indian hospitals are perfectly safe for treatment.

Subsequently, Lancet apologised to the Indian government saying it was an error to name a superbug after New Delhi.

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