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New antibiotic developed to tame NDM-1 superbug

CNN-IBN
May 10, 2011 at 09:11am IST

New Delhi: In a major development on the fight against the NDM-1 superbug, a Swiss company, Basilea Pharmaceutical, has announced that its un-named drug has proved effective against the bacteria in lab tests.

Currently the NDM-1 bacteria is resistant to all known forms of antibiotics.

The New Delhi Superbug (NDM-1 bacteria) has been found in water samples in the capital, according to a study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

New antibiotic developed to tame NDM-1 superbug

Currently the NDM-1 bacteria is resistant to all known forms of antibiotics.

British researchers found the NDM-1 Superbug in 2 of 50 tap water samples and 51 of 171 samples of water from puddles in Delhi.

It's not just India, which is hit; the superbug has been detected in 28 countries worldwide.

If this drug proves successful in human trials, which are starting next week, it will be the first effective weapon in the fight against it.

The findings were presented by scientists in Italy in the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology.

However, experts say that the speed with which superbugs are evolving can never match with the rate with which newer antibiotics are being formed. For example, in the last 25 years only two new classes of antibiotics have been developed and for the next decade, there's not even one new antibiotic in the pipeline.

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is almost a direct result of overuse. Sources in the health ministry admit antibiotic usage in India has shot up by 70 per cent in the past five years alone.

Tuberculosis is classic example. A disease almost eradicated in the 80s still remains a big killer. Multi-drug resistance is still being fought.

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