A spokesman for the Centre for Health Department (CHP) of the Department of Health today (August 13) said CHP attached great importance to an overseas report concerning the emergence of new antibiotic resistant organisms harbouring New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1).
NDM-1 is an enzyme which can inactivate certain groups of antibiotics (e.g., carbapenems, beta-lactams), thus conferring multi-drug resistance to bacteria bearing this enzyme.
"We are following up with the World Health Organization and the respective health authorities to understand more of the situation," a CHP spokesman said.
"We are also liaising with hospital laboratories to formalise an enhanced surveillance arrangement for such organisms.
The spokesman noted that CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) had all along been monitoring the antibiotic resistance pattern of bacteria.
"According to test results of PHLSB, there was one isolate of E. coli harbouring NDM-1 in a 66-year-old male patient attending a government out-patient clinic in October 2009.
"The organism was however susceptible to oral antibiotic agents commonly used to treat urinary tract infection," the spokesman said.
The patient fully recovered.
CHP will issue letters to doctors to alert them of the situation and will remain vigilant for changes in antibiotic resistance that may have public health significance, he added.
Ends/Thursday, August 12, 2010