First cases of NDM-1 super bacteria infection reported

Updated: 2010-10-26 17:50
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BEIJING - China's health authorities Tuesday announced the country's first three cases of NDM-1, a multi-drug resistant super bacteria.

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) official Ni Daxin said at a press conference that two cases were detected from samples submitted by the local CDC in the northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and one from the southeastern Fujian Province.

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The samples from Ningxia were drawn from faeces of two infants born on March 8 and March 11. Both were born underweight and showed symptoms of diarrhea and respiratory infections two days after birth. One suffered an oxygen deficiency.

One of the babies recovered after nine days in hospital and the other after 14 days. They remained healthy, said Ni.

Although the two babies were diagnosed as carrying the NDM-1 bacteria, there was no link between the bacteria and their illnesses, said Ni.

The other sample from Fujian was identified from an 83-year-old, who died on June 11. Ni said the primary cause of death was late-term lung cancer, and the role of the drug-resistant bacteria in the development of the illness was unclear.

The bacteria was identified in laboratories of the China CDC and Academy of Military Medical Sciences from among 3,500 samples. Ni told Xinhua the detection rate was still low.

Ni said it was impossible to trace the origin of the bacteria, because it had been a long time since samples were collected.

Ni said there was no cause for panic because the bacteria did not spread among people. "It is only contagious through medical activities, so hospitals and clinics must be on high alert."

Ni said China CDC would expand the pool of samples for NDM-1 testing.

Xiao Yonghong, director of national drug-resistant bacteria surveillance network run by the Ministry of Health, said hospitals should step up monitoring and sterilization.

Xiao said the network, established in 2005, covered 170 top-level hospitals across China.

NDM-1 is most prevalent in South Asia, but has also been found in Britain, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the United States and Sweden.