Don’t undermine superbug’s presence: Former ICMR chief


New Delhi: Even as the health ministry has denied any threat by superbug NDM-1 alleged to be found in Delhi’s sewage and drinking water, former Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief N.K. Ganguly Tuesday said the superbug’s presence and ill-effects have been confirmed.

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“Do not underestimate the superbug,” Ganguly said here at the first forum on bacterial infections in the capital.

“Considering the hospital waste that goes into Delhi’s sewage water, many studies have confirmed that the multi-drug resistant superbug is present in Delhi’s environment,” he said.

“It is the most deadliest bug roaming around,” added Ganguly, chairman of the Immunology Foundation.

Reports from a British Medical journal had earlier alleged the presence of a bacteria with multi-drug resistant gene — New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) — that was resistant to almost all antibiotics.

The journal later reported in a study that the NDM-1 was found in Delhi’s sewage and drinking water.

Scientists feared the spread of the enzyme worldwide due to its high antibiotic resistance, to fight which nothing has been developed so far.

While the health ministry has not admitted on the impact of the NDM-1 on public health, it has been mulling over an antibiotic policy that will also address the issue of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) in the country.

Officials from the health ministry had said the naming of the enzyme after ‘New Delhi’ was an attempt to malign India as the superbug was found in many countries, not just India.