Apr 07, 2011

"Superbug" Found in Indian Water Supply

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cases have been reported around the globe

A new “superbug” has been found in water supplies in New Delhi, India, according to research published this week in The Lancet medical journal.

In research conducted in September and October of last year, the bacteria were found in 51 of 171 samples of water pools and rivulets in the city, and in two of 50 samples of the city’s public taps. The bacteria contain a gene called New Delhi metalla-beta-lactamase 1, or NDM-1, which causes some types of bacteria to be resistant to antibiotics, according to a report by AFP. The gene was found in bacteria that cause cholera and dysentery.

According to the report, the Indian government initially rejected the research as “scaremongering,” but after cases turned up around the globe, the World Health Organization ordered monitoring of the bacteria.

The bacteria could be especially troubling in India, where many lack access to modern toilets and clean water.