Three cases of NDM-1 superbug reached US from India


Delhi capital city of India was under criticism for initiating the infection by super bug, named New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1), about a month ago. While the news is still fresh, three Americans from California, Massachusetts and Illinois returned to the US from India, infected by this superbug.  As per the reports, about 150,000 Americans travelled overseas last year for medical care to save on costs. Cases of the superbug have now been reported in Australia, the UK, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the US.

The NDM-1 is believed to produce an enzyme that makes it resistant to a group of antibiotics called carbapenems, which include drugs such as penicillin and ampicillin.

All the three Americans received medical treatment in India:

  • The Californian woman was involved in car accident and needed hospital care.
  • The Illinois man had pre-existing medical problems and a urinary catheter.
  • Woman from Massachusetts had surgery and chemotherapy for cancer in India before travelling to the US.

Reaction from US health agencies
Brandi Limbago, a lab chief at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested physicians to examine people for NDM-1, who visited India and Pakistan and said “We want physicians to...

look for it, especially in patients who have travelled recently to India or Pakistan.”

American doctors criticized Indian medical facilities for overusing antibiotics.  The overdose could be the cause for spread of the drug-resistant superbug and hence led to hard-to-treat infections around the globe with people travelling to India.

According to the Spokesperson of Illinois Department of Public Health, Melaney Arnold, the infection was not transmitted to other people.

The superbug has become a threat to India’s expanding health tourism industry. The Indian health ministry was raged by allegations of superbug origination from India and insisted that such bacteria are present universally.

Source: Business Week

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