Superbug returns to haunt Delhi

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Once again the superbug scare has come to haunt the national capital. And this time it`s not Lancet, but a leading hospital in Delhi that has claimed presence of the deadly virus after a research of five months.

According to a research conducted by Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on 10,889 samples, 5267 samples were found positive for significant growth of bacteria. This is the first instance when an institute has confirmed the presence of New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM1) in Delhi.

Superbug is an enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to a broad range of beta-lactam antibiotics. The bug was named after New Delhi following Lancet’s report of an antibiotic resistant superbug originating from India, creating a huge uproar at the time. The gene for NDM-1 can spread from one strain of bacteria to another by horizontal gene transfer.

Dr Chand Wattal, senior consultant and chairman, department of clinical microbiology at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said prevalence of NDM1 in a hospital setting is high but it mostly goes unreported.

"We conducted this study over a five-month duration. A total of 10,889 samples were processed, of which 2,669 samples from wards and 2,598 from ICU were found positive for significant growth of bacteria. From these positive samples, we isolated 379 units of E coli and 305 isolates of K pneumoniae - hosts to NDM1 and frequent culprits in respiratory and lung infections," said Wattal.

In wake of the latest findings, the Delhi government has called for a meeting of all hospitals on October 7.

Delhi Health Minister AK Walia will meet all stakeholders and discuss issues related to the alleged prevalence of antibiotic-resistant superbug in the city.

"We will hold a meeting on Friday and all the stakeholders will be present in the meeting. Though we have not received any report, we will take this matter seriously," said Walia.

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