Superbug infection in Canada

At least one Canadian has been infected by a new superbug that defiestreatment and could spread rapidly around the world, a leading Canadianmedical microbiologist says.

At least one Canadian has been infected by a new superbug that defies treatment and could spread rapidly around the world, a leading Canadian medical microbiologist says.

And although the Canadian infected by the antibiotic-resistant NDM-1 recovered, “we don’t know if the infection will come back,” Dr. Johann Pitout of the University of Calgary told the Toronto Star yesterday.

What scientists do know about this new discovery, reported yesterday in The Lancet, is that it starts with a gene, NDM-1, that secretes an enzyme that blocks almost all antibiotics from fighting certain bacteria, including the common E. coli.

The superbugs “are potentially a major global health problem,” said study lead author Dr. Timothy Walsh of the University of Cardiff, Wales.

“It is likely NDM-1 will spread worldwide.”

Since NDM-1 was first detected in 2008 in a handful of British and Indian cases, it’s jumped to 180 in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the U.K. in the study. That doesn’t include the Canadian or three U.S. cases reported in late June.

 
 
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