How to Identify and Help Prevent NDM-1
The NDM-1 “Superbug” and How to Avoid It
First identified in a published report in 2009, NDM-1 (or New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1) is actually an enzyme that attaches itself to a wide variety of bacteria, and renders that bacteria strongly resistant to the most potent broad-spectrum antibiotics, known as carbapenems.
Among the first known patients affected by NDM-1 was a patient being treated for a urinary tract infection in a Swedish hospital who had previously been treated in a hospital in New Delhi, India, where the enzyme is thought to have originated.1 Since then, occurrences of NDM-1 have been found on all continents.
So, while NDM-1 does not carry its own health risks and symptoms, in conjunction with certain bacteria, it can make medical treatment much more difficult.
What Are the Symptoms of NDM-1?
The main sign of a person infected with bacteria carrying NDM-1 is the failure of antibiotics to affect the patient’s condition. Because NDM-1 can be carried by a wide variety of gram-negative bacteria, it is difficult to assign other specific symptoms to it. Gram-negative bacteria can cause conditions from cholera to pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Another major factor in diagnosing people infected with bacteria carrying NDM-1 is a history of travel to India, particularly for “medical tourism.”
Where Is NDM-1 Most Common?
The NDM-1 resistance gene is most frequently found in these conditions:
- Areas that are overpopulated
- Areas with low levels of hygiene and sanitation
- Hot and humid climates
- Populations that prescribe high levels of antibiotics
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
If you have a gram-negative bacterial infection that is not being effectively treated by antibiotics, consult with your doctor, particularly if you have recently travelled to India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh
Also, be certain you:
- Limit contact with people who have urinary tract infections or diarrhea.
- Limit contact with other people if you have a urinary tract infection or diarrhea.
- Take extra precautions with cleanliness when you are preparing and eating food.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with an antibacterial soap such as Safeguard® with Germ Shield+. Scrub hands briskly for at least 15 seconds, and then dry them with a disposable towel.
SOURCES: 1 National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases https://cdn.metricmarketing.ca/www.nccid.ca/files/Purple_Paper_Note_mauve/PP_33_EN.pdf National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases https://cdn.metricmarketing.ca/www.nccid.ca/files/Purple_Paper_Note_mauve/PP_33_EN.pdf Emedicinehealth http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ndm-1/article_em.htm Biomurieux-usa http://www.biomerieux-usa.com/solutions/healthcare-solutions/clinical-solutions/ndm-1