Mumbai: After the panic the Lancet article about the NDM-1 superbug created in the Capital, an ongoing two month long study being carried out by Pune's Sassoon Hospital and the National Centre of Cell Sciences has alarming findings.
Taking blood and urine samples of more than 3000 patients, scientists at Sassoon Hospital found multi-drug resistance in 66 per cent people and 181 were resistant to the highest level of antibiotics, that's Carbapenems. They also found that twenty people were carrying the NDM-1 gene.
Alarming as it may sound, these findings will soon be published in an international microbiology journal, and the research team insists that superbugs are a global threat.
Lead Researcher of the BJ Medical College Dr Renu Bhardwaj said, "What we also want to emphasize is that the superbug is not exclusively India's. Data from well-known medical journals across the world document emergence of similar metallo-B-lactamases bacteria from at least 28 countries."
Experts say that the speed with which superbugs are evolving can never match with the rate with which newer antibiotics are being formed. For example, in the last 25 years only two new classes of antibiotics have been developed and for the next decade, there's not even one new antibiotic in the pipeline.
But the lack of newer drugs does not mean the NDM-1 superbug cannot be fought. We met experts in the city's Hinduja Hospital, where two years ago, 22 cases of the NDM-1 superbug were first found but today, that figure has come down to 0.
Emergency and CCU consultant at Hinduja Hospital Dr Khusrav Bajan said, "This is only because we have infection control committee and we keep on talking to each other. We have the microbiologist, we have intense care unit, we have nurses - all of them enrolled. We make sure that everybody washes their hands properly before touching the patients. We change lines as and when required, we do procedures under a sterile precautions and once a bug is super bug or any other resistance bug is isolated we do take precautions."
And now even the ICMR is starting its own study on NDM-1 bacteria and drug resistance.