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New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 / NDM-1

NDM-1 is a gene carried by bacteria that produces carbapenemases. Bacteria with NDM-1 have been termed a superbug because the infections caused are difficult to treat and are resistant to a broad range of carbapenem antibiotics.

Bacterium that produces NDM-1 has become a worry to the medical community, as it may jump to a bacteria that is already resistant to many other antibiotics. If these strains combine with any bacteria it could produce a dangerous virus which is incredibly infectious and near impossible to treat. Although only discovered in 2009, NDM-1 has been found in at least 4 different gram-negative bacterium - Klebsiella, Escherichia, Enterobacter, and Acinetobacter. A possible reason for this spreading so fast is E.coli as it is a normal bacteria found in the human intestine and is capable of producing NDM-1.


A major sign of being infected with bacteria carrying NDM-1 is antibiotics given to a patient, have failed to improve their condition. If an individual has travelled to a foreign country for elective surgery or was recently treated with antibiotics for an infection, then doctors and nurses should be aware that any infection could be caused by a bacteria carrying NDM-1. Currently, these are the only ways to identify an infection with NDM-1.


As NDM-1 can be carried by several types of bacteria, the symptoms of the virus do not help in identifying if the patient has this disease, until the antibiotics fail. However, as gram negative bacteria are known to cause many diseases, patients that require antibiotic treatment and do not recover, should be tested for antibiotic resistance.

Find out more about Superbugs Caught in Hospitals

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.