Published on 28th June 2012
Two patients in a US hospital have tested positive for a new superbug that causes bacteria to be resistant to most antibiotics.
The superbug, named New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), was found in two patients in a Rhode Island hospital - according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to healthmap.org, NDM is 'transferred easily to other types of gram-negative bacteria' through a small part of portable DNA called 'plasmid'. As a result, the genetic material encodes 'multiple resistance genes' in the new bacteria, meaning that they form a strong resistance against nearly all antibacterial drugs.
As the bug is transmitted easily, claims cdc.gov, efforts to contain the enzyme - such as the disinfection of hospitals, for example - are critical to protect public health.
Furthermore, experts are unaware of how the NDM-containing bacteria managed to spread within the hospital, especially as separate medical teams cared for each patient with no overlapping doctors or nurses.
Since first identified in 2008, NDM was thought to be limited in healthcare locations in India and Pakistan, but the enzyme has spread throughout Asia, Europe and now the US, making it of global interest.
The announcement of another two cases of NDM brings the total number in the United States to 13.
Author: Ashley Curtis