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Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About The NDM-1 Virus Superbug Bacteria

Updated on March 20, 2011

Here are the answers to the top 10 NDM-1 FAQ:

  1. What Is NDM-1?
  2. Is NDM-1 A Bacteria Or A Virus?
  3. Can NDM-1 Spread To Other Bacteria?
  4. Where Is NDM-1 Now?
  5. How is NDM-1 Moving So Fast?
  6. Why Can't We Come Up With An Antibiotic That Works Against NDM-1?
  7. Is There Any Antibiotic That Works Today?
  8. What About The Current Antibiotics Against MRSA & C-Difficile?
  9. Who Is Most Susceptible To NDM-1 Infection?
  10. What Can I Do To Stay Safe Against NDM-1?

What Is NDM-1?

NDM-1 is the short form whereby the New Delhi Metallo Beta Lactamase 1 enzyme is being referred to in the medical literature.

Is NDM-1 A Bacteria Or A Virus?

NDM-1 is neither. It is an enzyme which can be found inside various bacteria. The most significant bacteriums which have been located so far containing the NDM-1 enzyme are E. coli and Klebsiella pneumonia. Both are extremely widespread bacteria which have been proven to be fatal.

Can NDM-1 Spread To Other Bacteria?

The insidious nature of an NDM-1 enzyme is that it can easily be transferred from one type of bacteria to another, thereby imbuing the new bacteria with a resistance to antibiotic substances which would have previously inactivated it. Therefore we can look forward to many other types of bacteria adopting this new immunity.

Where Is NDM-1 Now?

NDM-1 is widely acknowledged to have originated in the Indian sub-continent but there are now patients which are infected with the NDM-1 enzyme containing bacteria in various countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the United States.

How is NDM-1 Moving So Fast?

It is not difficult to transfer a bacterium around the world in the jet age, where any point on Earth is less than 24 flying hours away. It seems that the primary vector was individuals travelling to India to receive cosmetic and other surgeries at cut rate prices. They were infected in the Indian clinics and then carried the bacteria home with them.

Why Can't We Come Up With An Antibiotic That Works Against NDM-1?

The type of resistance which is developed by bacteria which contain the NDM-1 enzyme is rather wide ranging so it creates a significant challenge to the pharmaceutical industry to come up with an antibiotic that is effective against it. Since it takes up to two billion dollars and over a year to bring a new antibiotic to market (and that's after one has been developed that actually works), there may not be a silver bullet against NDM-1 any time soon. Some experts are saying that it might take a full ten years to develop an effective NDM-1 antibiotic.

Is There Any Antibiotic That Works Today?

There may be some possibility that Colistin may work but it is an older antibiotic which is known for producing some very nasty toxic side effects. Some researchers are also pointing to Pfizer's Tygacil as a possible anti NDM-1 antibiotic, but it is very early in the process and it may be months before any significant clinical data on the effect of any of these substances will be compiled and determined.

What About The Current Antibiotics Against MRSA & C-Difficile?

Those persistent infections are usually treated with a class of antibiotics called carbapenems. The aspect of NDM-1 which has concerned so many medical researchers is that carbapenems seem to have no significant effect on any bacteria which contains the NDM-1 enzyme.

Who Is Most Susceptible To NDM-1 Infection?

As in most infections, patients who are either young or elderly and all ages of individuals with auto immune disorders such as HIV-AIDS, as well as people undergoing chemotherapy, are vulnerable to the NDM-1 enzyme containing bacteria.

What Can I Do To Stay Safe Against NDM-1?

As it currently is affecting only two primary bacteria, any precautions you would normally take against getting pneumonia and practicing proper hygiene and food safety should keep you as safe as possible against the E. coli and Klebsiella pneumonia which contain NDM-1. However, there is no way to stop NDM-1 from spreading to other bacteria and it is impossible to tell without sophisticated medical testing whether the bacteria which is currently causing an infection in your body has the NDM-1 enzyme or not.

Also see: The Unkillable NDM-1 Bacteria Is Spreading Across The World

Disclaimer: The information on this Hub page does not constitute medical, legal, commercial, product, and/or service advice or endorsement of any vendor, supplier and/or brand, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author. Listing of an entity or service on this Hub page is not a warranty of the quality or efficacy of the products or services furnished by any entity. The author is not directly compensated by any entity other than the advertising placement services shown on this page.


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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      8 years ago from Toronto

      Friendly piece of advice from a veteran Hubber. If your Hub isn't at least 400 words long or preferably 500, it's too short. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very good infomation more detail about NDm - 1 see :

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      8 years ago from Toronto

      I appreciate your comment! :)

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      You provided good information on this page. I appreciate knowing more about this.


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