Lethal superbugs are emerging that do not respond to any known drugs. The world Health Organization states that the New Delhi also known as the NDM-1 superbug was recently found in UK patients and has reached a critical point. These super bugs are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, which is a major concern to experts because they are used for hard to treat infections that evade other drugs.
Already 25,000 people die each year from superbugs in Europe and there are a number of bacteria’s that are now resistant to all drugs. That figure will increase to even greater numbers unless new more powerful antibiotics are developed.
These bacteria, which have genetic resistance to antibiotics, have contaminated Delihi’s drinking water supply. This gene spread through a bacterium that causes dysentery and Cholera, which can be easily passed from person to person via sewage, contaminated water. Scientist are calling for urgent action by health authorities world wide to tackle the new strains and prevent their global spread.
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is leading to “unprecedented levels” of resistance, and a lack of development of new drugs means we could see current treatments become useless. The problem is worsened because drug companies have put off developing new antibiotics because they are seen as not profitable enough.
“Super Bugs flee India and Takeover Europe, Michelle Roberts, BBC News, April 6, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12975693
Student Researcher: Nzinga Dotson-Newman
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University