Thursday, April 7, 2011

Superbugs found in Delhi water; WHO warns of post-antibiotic era

This news is especially scary when you remind yourself of the abysmal state of the Indian public health care system.

According to a British study published online in Lancet Journal on April 7, NDM-1 Superbugs were found in 2 drinking water samples and 51 seepage water samples from sites within a 12 kilometer radius in west and central New Delhi between September and October 2010.  The NDM-1 (New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1) gene enables bacteria to become resistant to almost all powerful antibiotics.

"The inhabitants of New Delhi are continually being exposed to multidrug-resistant and NDM 1-positive bacteria," said Mark Toleman of Britain's Cardiff University School of Medicine who co-authored the study with Timothy Walsh, also of Cardiff University. 

The study finds that this gene is no longer contained in hospitals and is now borne in the environment, virulent at 30 degrees Celsius (which just so happens to be the mean temperature of summer and monsoon season in Delhi) and can easily move from one bacteria species to another.   

The Hindu spoke with a peer reviewer of the study, Dr. Mohammad Shahid of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Aligarh Muslim University, who called for broader epidemiological and environmental studies in and around the city of Delhi in an accompanying commentary on the article in the journal.  Dr. Shahid wrote "the potential for wider international spread...of NDM-1 is real and should not be ignored" but allayed fears to the Hindu correspondent pointing out the gene has entered the environment but has yet to be established in the tap water, with a low positive testing of two tap water samples.

WHO officials worldwide are sounding a warning on the same day, designated World Health Day, saying bugs are overcoming drugs at a faster rate than new drug development and the world is on the brink of a post-antibiotic era where common infections will once again, turn deadly.


Tys said...

why on earth are u getting worried? After the required amount of human population dies, the indians will develope resistance towards this superbug, making us the only people left on earth, thereby confirming the biblical prophecy, the meek shall inherit the earth...

Pundit Commentator said...


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