Tags: gene | destroys | antibiotics | superbug destroys antibiotics | new generation of superbugs | NDM-1 gene | bacteria resistant to antibiotics

Scary Gene Destroys Antibiotics

Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010 08:37 AM

A new gene carried by bacteria that cause common ailments, which include urinary tract infections and pneumonia, has the power to destroy antibiotics. The gene, NDM-1, is widespread in India and has struck three U.S. patients who became infected while getting medical treatment in India.

Scientists fear it is the harbinger of a new generation of superbugs that can make bacteria resistant to many antibiotics and decimate our ability to use them to fight diseases.

"The problem thus far seems fairly small, but the potential is enormous. This is in some ways our worst nightmare," Brad Spellberg, an infectious-disease specialist at LA Biomed (the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center) and author of "Rising Plague," a book about antibiotic resistance, told the Washington Post. "You take very common bacteria that live in all of us and can travel from person to person, and you introduce into it some of the nastiest antibiotic-resistance mechanisms there are."

The NDM-1 infections in the United States were brought by citizens who went to India seeking less expensive medical treatment. The bacteria appears to have originated in India as a result of widespread poor sanitation and the easy availability of cheap antibiotics. Experts fear the new superbug will follow in the footsteps of other germs that are resistant to multiple types of antibiotics and become common in American medical centers.

To read the complete Washington Post story — Go Here Now.


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A new gene carried by bacteria that cause common ailments, which include urinary tract infections and pneumonia, has the power to destroy antibiotics. The gene, NDM-1, is widespread in India and has struck three U.S. patients who became infected while getting medical treatment in India.
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Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010 08:37 AM
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