Super-bug named after New Delhi bugs India

Super-bug named after New Delhi bugs India

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New Delhi There's a new bug in town, a superbug that can spread rapidly. It is extremely immune to antibiotics claim researchers in Britain. (Read: Government's clarification)

So what exactly is this Bug.

It's called NDM1, that stands for New Delhi Metallo-1. Considered to be extremely infectious in nature, the bug is completely resistant from all antibiotics known at present.
 (Read: Why superbug NDM1 is considered hard-core)

"It's not a single superbug, rather, it's a type of resistance that's been spreading about among different bacteria. The bacteria that pick up this resistance are resistant to virtually all the good antibiotics," said Professor David Livermore, Health Protection.

But what's bugging India is that it is stinking of a conspiracy. A Conspiracy that could damage India's flourishing medical tourism  that attract thousands of patients from the west. Most come to India in the lookout for high quality treatment at cheaper costs. (Forum: Will Super-bug deter health tourism to India?)

Questions are now being raised about why the research was sponsored by two big pharmaceutical companies that may gain from the findings?

Moreover, the Indian Health Ministry says the research is not supported by scientific data and has rubbished the conclusions.  Also, furious about the bacteria named after the capital of the country, India is only reiterating the conspiracy theory. (Read: MNCs may be behind superbug 'propaganda', say MPs)

"This phenomena is not India centric, the superbug is everywhere. It is wrong to blame India, its hospitals, and our drug policy. Indian hospitals are world class. This gives a very wrong message. We will register protest," said V M Katoch, Secretary, Department of Medical Research.

The medical journal that published the study, Lancet, is highly respected and the report is being taken seriously.

But reports now suggest the Chennai-based author Karthikeyan Kumarasamy, who did that paper, has dissociated himself from parts of it.

Kumarasamy said the man who edited the Lancet report added many interpretations, particularly related to the last para which warns against elective surgeries in India.

In case there is a new highly resistant bacteria then it could affect millions of people in India. So the most asked question at the moment is, what steps should India and Indians take to ensure it doesn't spread?

The superbug theory is making headlines and the debate seems to be only heating up. Amidst all, a set doctors believe that the need of the hour is to gather more information about this virus. They say that the Indian government should order a detailed investigation into the matter rather than just rejecting the findings outright.

Also, steps should be taken immediately to counter the possible spread of the bacteria.

Story First Published: August 12, 2010 21:12 IST

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