LONDON, Aug. 11 (UPI) — Scientists say they fear a new superbug — one that traveled from India and Pakistan to hospitals in Britain — might go global.
Fifty cases of the superbug have been identified in hospitals in Britain. Researchers say NDM-1 can exist inside different bacteria — like E.coli — making them resistant to antibiotics, the BBC reported.
Dr. David Livermore of the British Health Protection Agency said there have been several small clusters of the superbug identified in Britain and many appear to be associated with travel and hospital treatment in the Indian subcontinent.
“This type of resistance has become quite widespread there,” Livermore told the BBC.
“The fear would be that it gets into a strain of bacteria that is very good at being transmitted between patients.”
A study, published in The Lancet, which examined some of the NDM-1 cases identified by the British health agency up to 2009 from hospitals in Britain, found at least 17 of the 37 patients had a history of traveling to India or Pakistan within the past year — many for cosmetic surgery.
Some of the patients were mildly ill, while others were seriously ill, the study says.
Researchers advise that NDM-1 can be addressed by rapidly identifying and isolating hospital patients infected and using normal infection control such as disinfecting hospital equipment and medical staff washing hands.
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