Is new drug-resistant superbug a threat to medical tourism industry?

While medical tourism continues to rise in popularity, as we've reported several times over the last few years, potential international patients may think twice before booking their next vacation operations with a new superbug on the scene. A new multidrug-resistant superbug has appeared in India, Pakistan, and the U.K., according to an article published in Lancet Infectious Diseases.

DM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1) is a new gene that makes a bacterium highly resistant to nearly all antibiotics, Medical News Today reports. It is spread in Enterobacteriaceae taken from patients in India and Pakistan. It has also turned up in U.K. patients who traveled to India for elective surgery.

"The potential of NDM-1 to be a worldwide public health problem is great, and co-ordinated international surveillance is needed," the researchers write. They identified 44 isolates with NDM-1 in Chennai, 26 in Haryana, 37 in the UK, and 73 in other sites in India and Pakistan.

The NDM-1 superbug resists virtually all antibiotics, even the most powerful ones, according to the Medical News Today article. 

To learn more:
- read the Lancet Infectious Diseases abstract
- see the Medical News Today article on the link between international travel and the spread of the superbug
- here's another Medical News Today article on the spread of the superbug
Related Articles:
Global medical tourism market to hit $100B by 2012
Health plans begin to cover medical tourism
Study: Medical tourism market smaller than predicted

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