NDM-1: A Brand New Superbug, Just in Time For Fall

Just as we bid farewell to H1N1, a new so-called “superbug” is rearing its ugly head. British researchers said Wednesday that they’ve discovered a new strain of antibiotic-resistant  bacteria and that this microscopic monster may have been spread in part by medical tourism. The strain has been dubbed NDM-1 and Cardiff University researcher Timothy Walsh told Reuters that it is a “real concern” on a “global level.” Walsh also said that both medical tourism – for inexpensive plastic surgery, for example – and “international travel in general” give antibiotic-resistant strains like NDM-1 the chance to spread around the world “very, very quickly.” Sounding an even brighter note, Walsh noted that there are no new drugs in development to try and fight something like NDM-1. Both Reuters and the AP reported that this particular strain of bug has been widespread in India and Pakistan and likely been carried to other parts of the world by Americans and Europeans. The AP quoted University of Birmingham (UK) professor Christopher Thomas, saying “We are potentially at the beginning of another wave of antibiotic resistance, though we still have the power to stop it.”