“The reservoir is in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and is due to factors that are not controllable — overuse of antibiotics, poor hygiene, and diarrhea in an overcrowded overpopulated country.”
From Medscape Medical News
NDM-1 Gene Spreading to Multiple Bacteria Species, Making Them Antibiotic-Resistant
September 22, 2010 (Boston, Massachusetts) — The gene that encodes for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1), which confers resistance to most currently available antibiotics, appears to be spreading from the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), researchers reported here at a media press conference during the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).
NDM-1 has recently been documented in strains of bacteria in Australia, France, Japan, Kenya, North America, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. The emergence of this gene poses the threat of a pandemic with few treatment choices, said researchers.
In 2 separate reports at ICAAC, investigators described cases of NDM-1 in Escherichia coli in Canada and in Klebsiella sp. in Australia, prompting the news conference. Both case reports involved patients who had recently traveled to India. No one really knows the true prevalence of NDM-1-infiltrated bacteria, the researchers said, but they believe that the spread from India to other parts of the world is at least partly due to a confluence of a large Indian diaspora returning to their homeland for visits and to the phenomenon of medical tourism to India.
“The reservoir is in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and is due to factors that are not controllable — overuse of antibiotics, poor hygiene, and diarrhea in an overcrowded overpopulated country. A plague could spread around the world, first through the Indian diaspora, which constitutes 20 million people all over the world,” warned Patrice Nordmann, MD, from the Hôpital de Bicêtre, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France. “We feel it’s only a question of time.” Dr. Nordmann was a panelist at the press conference.