Experts concerned about NDM-1 superbug found in Toronto

Infection control experts in Toronto continue to be concerned by the discovery of a new form of superbug found in two area hospitals.

The outbreaks were the first instances of Canadian hospitals finding bacteria containing the NDM-1 enzyme. In both cases, at least one of the victims who carried the bacteria with them into the hospital appears to have acquired it inside the country,

Previous cases of NDM-1 bacteria in Canada were isolated and found in people who had travelled to other countries for healthcare, particularly India and the United States. The first Canadian case was found in 2010.

NDM-1 was only discovered in 2008. The infection was identified in Sweden in a person who had visited India for medical treatment. NDM stands for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase.

"For many years the term superbug has been used and thrown around," Dr. Andrew Simor, the senior author of a recently published study of the outbreaks, said, reports." And there have been threats that we'll end up with a situation where there are infections that end up not being treatable because of the risk of drug resistance.

"I think we're actually seriously now approaching that point with these NDM-1s."

Two studies of how the hospitals managed to stop the outbreaks were recently published in the medical journals Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, and Clinical Infectious Diseases.