Lancet apologises for Superbug `New Delhi`

The journal had named an antibiotic resistant superbug after the Indian capital.

Updated: Jan 12, 2011, 10:20 AM IST

New Delhi: The editor of leading medical journal Lancet has apologised for the naming of an antibiotic resistant superbug after the Indian capital, saying it was an error.

A report in the magazine last year about the superbug New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamese-I originating in India had created uproar in the country.

"The science behind the report was very strong, sound and correct. But it should not have been named after a city," Dr Richard Horton told reporters in New Delhi.

"It was an error and I apologise for it. I think it should be renamed, but it should be up to the microbiologists (who discovered the superbug)," he said.

After the article was published last August, with the Health Ministry came out with a hard-hitting statement against it, saying the contents of the article present a "frightening picture which is not supported by any scientific data".

Its lead author Karthikeyan Kumarasawamy also dismissed as hypothetical the conclusion that the bacteria was transmitted from the country and said some interpretations were made without his knowledge.

He also said some interpretations in the report were written without his knowledge.

Karthikeyan, research student at AL Mudaliar postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, co-authored the research article with Timothy Walsh, published in Lancet.

The Department of Health in the UK had put out an alert on the issue, raising the hackles of the Indian medical fraternity.

PTI