Doctors in the United Kingdom say they’re worried about a new superbug that is resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics. It’s called NDM-1.
There have been 50 cases identified in the U.K. so far. They’re worried it will go global.
Experts say doctors have to rapidly identify and isolate any hospital patients who are infected.
Similar infection have been seen in the U.S., Canada, Austrailia and the Netherlands.
Scientists say this could produce dangerous infections that would spread rapidly from person to person and be almost impossible to treat.
An article published online Wednesday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases the reported the finding.
The potential of NDM-1 to be a worldwide public health problem is great, and coordinated international surveillance is needed,” the authors wrote. The researchers said that since many Americans and Europeans travel to India and Pakistan for elective procedures like cosmetic surgery, it was likely the superbug would spread worldwide.
“The spread of these multi-resistant bacteria merits very close monitoring,” wrote Johann Pitout of the division of microbiology at the University of Calgary, Canada, in an accompanying commentary.
Pitout called for international surveillance of the bacteria, particularly in countries that actively promote medical tourism. “The consequences will be serious if family doctors have to treat infections caused by these multi-resistant bacteria on a daily basis.”
(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report)