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New superbug in UK hospitals

11th August 2010

Scientists have confirmed that a new type of 'superbug' has been found in hospitals in the UK.

Bacteria

The bug, created by bacteria making an enzyme known as NDM-1, is thought to have been carried back by health service patients who went to countries such as India for operations.

Experts are concerned that the bug will spread worldwide, although only 50 cases have been found in the UK to date.

A paper published in Lancet Infectious Diseases said tighter controls and new treatments were required.

The enzyme is able to function inside bacteria such as E coli and can resist powerful carbapenem antibiotics.

The bug has already been transferred between patients in hospitals in Britain.

The paper said the chance that the bug could go global was "clear and frightening".

The study was performed by scientists at Cardiff University, the Health Protection Agency and associates.

Dr David Livermore, from the HPA, said the great majority of the cases appeared to be linked "with travel and hospital treatment in the Indian subcontinent".

"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 confirmed that the Department of Health had issued an alert, and added: "We issue these alerts very sparingly when we see new and disturbing resistance."

 

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Comments

Joan Irving

Monday 16th August 2010 @ 12:40

this just shows that we need to stop sitting on our hands and get more funding to the nurses, so we can invest in more hcai prevention measures, like the design bugs out products or this new kwickscreen I heard about from a friend at wolverhampton


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