Superbug should not have been named New Delhi: Lancet Editor | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Superbug should not have been named New Delhi: Lancet Editor

The editor of leading medical journal Lancet today apologised for the naming of an antibiotic resistant superbug after the Indian capital, saying it was an error. A report in the magazine in 2010 about the superbug in New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamese-I originating in India had created uproar in the country.

delhi Updated: Jan 11, 2011 20:17 IST

The editor of leading medical journal Lancet on Tuesday apologised for the naming of an antibiotic resistant superbug after the Indian capital, saying it was an error.

A report in the magazine in 2010 about the superbug in New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamese-I originating in India had created uproar in the country.

"The science behind the report was very strong, sound and correct. But it should not have been named after a city," Dr Richard Horton told reporters in New Delhi.

"It was an error and I apologise for it. I think it should be renamed, but it should be up to the microbiologists (who discovered the superbug)," he said.

After the article was published last August, with the health ministry came out with a hard-hitting statement against it, saying the contents of the article present a "frightening picture which is not supported by any scientific data".

Its lead author Karthikeyan Kumarasawamy also dismissed as hypothetical the conclusion that the bacteria was transmitted from the country and said that some interpretations were made without his knowledge.

He also said that some interpretations in the report were written without his knowledge.

Karthikeyan, research student at AL Mudaliar postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, co-authored the research article with Timothy Walsh, published in Lancet.

The Department of Health in the UK had put out an alert on the issue, raising the hackles of the Indian medical fraternity.