New Delhi superbug gene reaches the Arctic

• In a significant find in the global spread of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, scientists have found a “superbug” gene — first detected in New Delhi over a decade back — in one of the last “pristine” places on Earth that is some 12,870 km away.

Superbug blaNDM-1

• Soil samples taken in Svalbard a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole have now confirmed the spread of blaNDM-1 (called New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1) into the High Arctic.

• The blaNDM-1 and other ARGs were found in Arctic soils that were likely spread through the faecal matter of birds, other wildlife and human visitors to the area.

• This Antibiotic-Resistant Gene (ARG), originally found in Indian clinical settings, conditionally provides multi-drug resistance (MDR) in microorganisms, revealed the research team from U.K.’s Newcastle University.

• British scientists later found the “superbug” in New Delhi’s public water supply.

• Since then, the resistant gene has been found in over 100 countries, including new variants.

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Prelims level: blaNDM-1

Mains level: Tackling the outbreak of such deadly superbugs

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