New 'superbug' found in UK hospitals

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by viceroy, Aug 11, 2010.

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  1. More good news from the Indian Subcontinent!

    BBC News - New 'superbug' found in UK hospitals

    A new superbug that is resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics has entered UK hospitals, experts warn.

    They say bacteria that make an enzyme called NDM-1 have travelled back with NHS patients who went abroad to countries like India and Pakistan for treatments such as cosmetic surgery.

    Although there have only been about 50 cases identified in the UK so far, scientists fear it will go global.

    Tight surveillance and new drugs are needed says Lancet Infectious Diseases.

    NDM-1 can exist inside different bacteria, like E.coli, and it makes them resistant to one of the most powerful groups of antibiotics - carbapenems.

    These are generally reserved for use in emergencies and to combat hard-to-treat infections caused by other multi-resistant bacteria.

    Continue reading the main story “Start QuoteThe fear would be that it gets into a strain of bacteria that is very good at being transmitted between patients”
    End Quote Dr David Livermore Researcher from the HPA Q&A: NDM-1 superbugs
    And experts fear NDM-1 could now jump to other strains of bacteria that are already resistant to many other antibiotics.

    Ultimately, this could produce dangerous infections that would spread rapidly from person to person and be almost impossible to treat.

    At least one of the NDM-1 infections the researchers analysed was resistant to all known antibiotics.

    Similar infections have been seen in the US, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands and international researchers say that NDM-1 could become a major global health problem.

    Infections have already been passed from patient to patient in UK hospitals.

    The way to stop NDM-1, say researchers, is to rapidly identify and isolate any hospital patients who are infected.

    Normal infection control measures, such as disinfecting hospital equipment and doctors and nurses washing their hands with antibacterial soap, can stop the spread.

    And currently, most of the bacteria carrying NDM-1 have been treatable using a combination of different antibiotics.

    But the potential of NDM-1 to become endemic worldwide is "clear and frightening", say the researchers in their Lancet paper.

    National alert

    The research was carried out by experts at Cardiff University, the Health Protection Agency and international colleagues.

    Dr David Livermore, one of the researchers and who works for the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA), said: "There have been a number of small clusters within the UK, but far and away the greater number of cases appear to be associated with travel and hospital treatment in the Indian subcontinent.

    E. coli can cause urinary tract infections and blood poisoning
    "This type of resistance has become quite widespread there.

    "The fear would be that it gets into a strain of bacteria that is very good at being transmitted between patients."

    He said the threat was a serious global public health problem as there are few suitable new antibiotics in development and none that are effective against NDM-1.

    The Department of Health has already put out an alert on the issue, he said.

    "We issue these alerts very sparingly when we see new and disturbing resistance."

    Travel history

    The National Resistance Alert came in 2009 after the HPA noted an increasing number of cases - some fatal - emerging in the UK.

    The Lancet study looked back at some of the NDM-1 cases referred to the HPA up to 2009 from hospitals scattered across the UK.

    At least 17 of the 37 patients they studied had a history of travelling to India or Pakistan within the past year, and 14 of them had been admitted to a hospital in these countries - many for cosmetic surgery.

    For some of the patients the infection was mild, while others were seriously ill, and some with blood poisoning.

    A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We are working with the HPA on this issue.

    "Hospitals need to ensure they continue to provide good infection control to prevent any spread, consider whether patients have recently been treated abroad and send samples to HPA for testing.

    "So far there has only been a small number of cases in UK hospital patients. The HPA is continuing to monitor the situation and we are investigating ways of encouraging the development of new antibiotics with our European colleagues."

    The Welsh Assembly Government said it would be "fully considering" the report.

    "The NHS in Wales is used to dealing with multi-resistant bacteria using standard microbiological approaches, and would deal with any new bacteria in a similar way," said a spokesperson.
     
  2. But all this diversity is enriching us, New Liebour told us so.
     
  3. Read the bit you've highlighted again. Slowly this time.
     
  4. Why does NDM-1 have to travel to The UK before it can go global. Are facilities in Pakistan and India so poor that this tiny enzyme needs some first class healthcare, before it can be bothered pulling its boots on and going on a proper outbreak.
     
  5. **** me, that's didn't take long for Neues Arbiets Dr Spin to turn too!
     
  6. Leaving the grammer of the above alone for a second, did you do as I suggested?
     
  7. Shouldn't you be giving Whet a shake or something useful?
     
  8. Er, no. Today's lesson for you: if you see the words "Pakistan", "NHS patients", and "bacteria" in a paragraph, read it properly before assuming it is telling you that immigrants brought over the germs to the UK.
     

  9. Didn't say they weren't either
     
  10. Thats too difficult a concept for parapuke to grasp.

    NDM 1 = New Delhi Metallo-1, that'll teach us to slag Indian call center staff off :-D
     
  11. Isn't India quite a popular destination for Brits to get cosmetic surgery these days?
     
  12. So...you're blaming Indians and Pakistanis for an enzyme that could have developed/evolved anywhere in the globe?

    ???

    Antibiotics are used wordwide....Hence resistent bugs can also elvolve worldwide.

    Or are you just clutching at straws in an attempt to bash some nationality or other that isn't British?

    Of course you're right, these foreign bugs are shit in comparison to our superior home grown ones....
     
  13. I'll tell you what doesn't help: A few years ago I had to visit the STERILISATION SUITE at Leeds Royal Infirmary through work. Considering this was where medical instruments are sterilised, I was rather dismayed to see dirty sheets on the floor and dried blood and other bodily nasties on work surfaces, the floor and walls. Just because the general public don't see certain areas of hospital should be no excuse for shit cleaning drills.
     
  14. At least 17 of the 37 patients they studied had a history of travelling to India or Pakistan within the past year, and 14 of them had been admitted to a hospital in these countries - many for cosmetic surgery.

    Doesn't say we were blaming the Indians or Pakistanis
     

  15. Yes and you failed to note my comment on this

    "Antibiotics are used wordwide....Hence resistent bugs can also elvolve worldwide"

    That it came from India is probably pot luck. Or have we never had a problem with home grown resistent bugs then? If you can provide evidence I will happily accept it, but you're prooving nothing at the minute.