"Facts & data"

A colleague of mine is always hammering home the message of bringing facts and data to a discussion rather than rumors, hearsays and daily newspaper articles. Since a few days (because H1N1 is not a pandemic anymore?), newspapers are coming with another “Superbug” or “Germinator“, wrongly named “NDM-1“. So, before spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt, please read the scientific litterature or, at least, read quality newspapers (articles from The Guardian are quite fair and balanced).

NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase) is just the name of a gene in a plasmid that two bacteria at least, K. pneumoniae and E. coli, can carry. This gene makes bacteria resistant to almost all antibiotics. If you want to know more about this gene, Yong’s paper characterised it (access without subscription). Health care agencies know about this issue at least since last year.

Now, you can still go to India and Pakistan. New Delhi is still a safe city to visit. But yes, in general, the world will face a problem in the future because bacteria are becoming resistant to more and more antibiotics.