Mumbai: Researchers in a Mumbai hospital had reported presence of a multi-drug resistant superbug in an article published in an Indian scientific journal months before the Lancet study that has caused an outrage in the country's medical fraternity and drawn criticism from the government.
A team of researchers from Department of Medicine at P D Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre-- Payal Deshpande, Camilla Rodrigues, Anjali Shetty, Farhad Kapadia, Ashit Hedge and Rajeev Soman-- had in March this year warned about the superbug in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India (JAPI).
The Lancet article, however, did not cite this paper in its issue and quoted only the editorial which appeared in JAPI. Hinduja researchers had come to the conclusion after noticing 22 instances of New Delhi Metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) in 24 patients between August and November last year.
"This high number in a relatively short span is a worrisome trend that compromises the treatment options with carbapenems (a type of antibiotics used against multi-drug resistant infections)," they said. Experts in the field say that superbugs or any other microbes are present everywhere and are not specific to any city, country or religion.
"Microbes develop resistance because of indiscriminate use of antibiotics. Every hospital should have a rational antibiotic or anti-microbial policy in place.
Use of antibiotics should be gradual and based on proper culture and sensitivity tests so that such resistant strains do not develop in future," a senior surgeon from Hinduja hospital told PTI.
Dr Shashank Joshi, eminent endocrinologist and editor of JAPI said since the 15th century microbes are known to be present globally and it is time for the clinicans and microbiologists to collaborate to implement a rational antibiotic policy appropriately because what is grown (microbes) in petri-dish may not be the same in human body.
Stating that scientific theory behind superbugs and drug resistance is fine, he said it is preposterous and objectionable to blame New Delhi or India for that. "Microbes cannot be named after a city or a country and it is fundametally wrong to name a microbe as New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1). We should have objected last year when the British scientists gave the nomenclature," he said.
"Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans, and was discovered in the UK but was not named after Kettering, UK," he said deploring the tendency to blame any country for emergence of superbugs. PTI