Scientists Warn Again Of Superbugs In Delhi Drinking Water

A gene that makes bugs highly resistant to almost all known antibiotics has been found in bacteria in water supplies in New Delhi used by local people for drinking, washing and cooking, scientists said today. The result of antibiotic overuse.

NDM-1, or New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1, makes bacteria resistant to almost all antibiotics, including the most powerful class, called carbapenems.

There was a total of 11 new species of bacteria carrying the NDM-1 gene, including strains which cause cholera and dysentery.

Experts say the spread of superbugs threatens whole swathes of modern medicine, which cannot be practiced if doctors have no effective antibiotics to ward off infections during surgery, intensive care or cancer treatments like chemotherapy – potentially more of a risk to hospital patients than the notorious MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

U.S. cases have appeared so far this year in people from California, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Florida and Washington State, thirty-five states in all.