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ICICI Lombard Expert Blog

India's Role In Drug Resistant Bacteria Incubation gives Rise to Big Concerns

May 18 2012

Medical research is once more directing to India as an unsafe receptacle of bacterial strains that attack many types of antibiotic treatment. The problem is further exacerbated by cheap, under-regulated antibiotics combined with a stark deficit of hygienic set-up.

Medical specialists warn India heads 'the post-antibiotic era' as popularly referred to by the World Health Organization. This is a period that witnesses evolution of a huge range of infectious bacteria preceding the aptitude of even the most powerful medications to treat them.

Alleged superbugs comprise of a gene called NDM-1, which enhances the capacity of bacteria to counterattack even the most potent antibiotics. Here, ND stands for New Delhi. This is exactly where it was found in an extremely difficult-to-treat Swedish patient hospitalized in the year 2007. After 4 years, a research in the British medical journal Lancet cautioned bacteria holding NDM was prevalent not only in hospitals of New Delhi, but also in the drinking supply and sewer systems of the capital city of India.

K. Kumarasamy, a popular microbiologist in Chennai, specializes in drug-resistant pathogens. He believes that superbugs are found not only in hospitals but also in various outpatient clinics. He also warns that the nation is soon becoming a definite breeding ground for drug-resistant germs.

"There are many signals that it is one of the epicentres," said Kumarasamy.

With the evolution of drug resistant, even simple diseases such as dysentery can become nearly impossible to treat. Cutting-edge measures such as surgery that depends mainly on antibiotics to regulate infection become much more hazardous.

The basic problem in India curtails mostly from the fact that the marketplace is flooded with low-priced, off-the-rack, and under-regulated antibiotics.

The World Health Organization labels antibiotic resistance as "one of the biggest health shocks to the world".

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