Did superbug really originate in India?

Did superbug really originate in India?
New Delhi Even though it has been named after New Delhi, the question that is doing the rounds for long is, did the superbug really originate in India?

The claims made in the study don't stand up to scrutiny. Also, the one of the authors of the Lancet report, Karthikeyan Kumaraswamy has distanced himself from the findings.

When asked if he is satisfied with the reports, Kumaraswamy said, "Please don't ask me anything...I am too confused".

On further asking him if the findings have been tampered, Kumaraswamy maintained "I am not in a position to say anything...please don't disturb me."

In the past few days, India has protested sharply against the Lancet report. Some evidences suggest that the highly infectious drug-resistant bug may have possibly been inadvertently entered India.

So was the super bug imported into India?

Out of samples collected from 37 infected people in UK, only 17 had a history of travel to India or Pakistan. So how did the remaining contract this virus?

There is no genetic similarity between the UK and Indian strains the authors themselves admit. The very first alert issued by the UK government on January 30, 2009, makes no mention of India. Instead it lists the presence of the bug in Greece, USA and Israel.

If medical tourism in India is to be blamed for the spread of this super bug, then it is difficult to believe that Rohtak, Guwahati, and Port Blair that are not known to be hot medical destinations have also been listed out as cities home to the bug.

Indian medical experts say, India may have actually been a victim of this bug since it is spontaneously evolving all over the world. The Health Minister too has slammed the report.

 "Saying that this happens only in India, which is absolutely wrong... like I said it happens in the whole world and in environment," said Union Health Minister, Gulam Nabi Azad.

As a counter move, the Health ministry is now planning to write a strong formal rejoinder to the journal refuting these findings.



Story First Published: August 14, 2010 09:17 IST

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