The health ministry on Thursday said the environmental presence of superbug NDM-1 gene in Delhi does not pose a public health risk.
"The environmental presence of NDM-1 gene carrying bacteria is not a significant finding since there is no clinical or epidemiological linkage of this finding in the study area,” VM Katoch, director of the Indian Council of Medical Research, told reporters.
“Targetting a specific geographical region is totally unscientific as such bacteria is present all over the world," he added.
A study published in British Journal Lancet reported that the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) 1 gene, which makes bacteria resistant to an array of antibiotics, including the most powerful ones, has been found in open water pools, water from overflowing sewage and even a couple of drinking water samples.
The NDM-1 is an antibiotic resistant gene which makes microbes resistant to strongest antibiotics.
According to the study, the water samples in which the superbug gene was found come from water supplies which people use for drinking, washing and food preparation.
The most significant finding is the presence of this gene in bacteria Shigella boydii and Vibrio cholerae which that cause dysentery and cholera respectively. This could make these bacteria drug resistant and render these diseases untreatable with available drugs.