November 14, 2010

Not good - superbug

A sobering report from Wired Magazine:
The “Indian Superbug”: Worse Than We Knew
Just about a month ago, the disease-geek world was riveted by news of the “Indian superbug“: common bacteria carrying a newly recognized gene that confers profound multi-drug resistance, and that was linked to travel between Europe and South Asia, especially for medical tourism.

The gene, which directs production of an enzyme called NDM-1 for short, was briefly Bug of the Week, the spur for alarmist headlines in every Internet echo chamber and the target of denunciations by Indian politicians, who vilified the discovery as a Western “pharma conspiracy” spurred by envy of lucrative medical tourism.

And then, just as quickly as it popped into public consciousness, NDM-1 slid back under the news-radar horizon.
A bit more:
This new resistance factor has been found so far in the United States, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Germany, Oman, Kenya, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. Most of the isolates, the bacterial samples in which it has been identified, are susceptible to only one or two remaining antibiotics. One was susceptible to none.

“These resistant bugs,” Dr. Patrice Nordmann, a professor of clinical microbiology at the South-Paris Medical School, said in a briefing here, “have already spread all over the world.”
Makes me wonder how far along Dr. Kary Mullis' Altermune project is these days. That would be a shoe-in for a second Nobel for Mullis if it works... Posted by DaveH at November 14, 2010 8:45 PM
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