Researchers in New Delhi, India, have found a gene that causes a wide range of bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. A report published last Thursday found the gene in 2 of 51 tap water samples and in a large number of puddles and pools.
The gene, NDM-1, has been found in 11 different types of bacteria, including those that cause cholera and dysentery, diseases commonly found in third-world countries. The gene has already been found in a small number of patients who have visited India for medical procedures and has the potential to spread to other countries at an increasing rate.
The NDM-1 gene found in certain bacteria cause it to become resistant to particularly strong antibiotics, known as carbapenems, which are used in place of antibiotics when they fail to work. The findings, published in World Health Day, warns that more than 25,000 people in the European Union die every year due to infections cause by the antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
“There are now superbugs that do not respond to any drug,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of the World Health Organization for Europe. “Given the travel and trade in Europe and across the world, people should be aware that until all countries tackle this, no country alone can be safe,” she continues.
Anxiety levels heighten as the occurrence of this superbug threatens the safety of neighboring countries. Poor sanitation levels in India facilitates the spread of the gene, making it imperative that alert is being raised about the issues before it is too late.
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