Mumbai team beat UK report on superbug
Researchers in a Mumbai hospital had reported the presence of a multi-drug resistant superbug in an article published in an Indian journal months before the Lancet study that sparked outrage in the country’s medical fraternity and drew criticism from the government.mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2010 23:56 IST
Researchers in a Mumbai hospital had reported the presence of a multi-drug resistant superbug in an article published in an Indian journal months before the Lancet study that sparked outrage in the country’s medical fraternity and drew criticism from the government.
A team of researchers from Department of Medicine at P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre— Payal Deshpande, Camilla Rodrigues, Anjali Shetty, Farhad Kapadia, Ashit Hedge and Rajeev Soman—had in March warned about the superbug in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India (JAPI).
The Lancet article did not cite this paper and quoted only the editorial that appeared in the JAPI.
The Hinduja researchers came to the conclusion after noticing 22 instances of New Delhi Metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) in 24 patients between August and November last year.
“This high number in a relatively short span is a worrisome trend that compromises the treatment options with carbapenems (a type of antibiotics used against multi-drug resistant infections),” the article said.
Experts say superbugs and other microbes are not specific to any city, country or religion.
“Microbes develop resistance because of indiscriminate use of antibiotics. Every hospital should have a rational antibiotic or anti-microbial policy in place. Use of antibiotics should be gradual and based on proper culture and sensitivity tests so that such resistant strains do not develop in future,” a Hinduja Hospital surgeon said.
Dr Shashank Joshi, endocrinologist and editor of JAPI, said it was time clinicans and microbiologists collaborated on a rational antibiotic policy.
Though the scientific theory behind superbugs and drug resistance was sound, Joshi said it was preposterous and objectionable to blame New Delhi or India for that.
“Microbes cannot be named after a city or a country and it is fundamentally wrong to name a microbe New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1). We should have objected last year when the British scientists gave the nomenclature,” he said.
Sanjay Borude, bariatric surgeon at the Breach Candy Hospital, stressed the need for exhaustive research termed the Lancet study as a haphazardly done survey.