A dangerous new "superbug" gene that has become increasingly common in Southern Asia, and has recently been found in patients in Britain who received medical care in India and Pakistan, is causing concern among US experts.

Labeled New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, better known as NDM-1, the "superbug" has the potential of spreading around the world, and scientists say there are almost no drugs in the pipeline to treat it.

"It’s a major public concern nationwide as well as worldwide knowing there is an uncontrollable gene in circulation," said Dr Brad Spellberg, infectious disease specialist, scientist, author and researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Harbor/UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. "Our industry is not developing any new antibiotics to combat this medical urgency."

A recognized expert on the topic of antibiotic-resistant germs, Dr Spellberg added, "There are numerous strains of superbug germs which have killed patients in hospitals and other medical facilities. It’s worrisome that bacteria with the NDM-1 gene is resistant to the antibiotics which are currently being used by doctors."

As the author of the new book "Rising Plague: the Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them" (Prometheus Books), Dr Spellberg has become a frequent guest on major news media programs.

"In the face of the growing threat of infectious diseases, it’s incumbent upon the medical community to explore every credible tool for combating dangerous, life-threatening bacteria, many of which have grown resistant to antibiotics," Dr Spellberg said.
Dr Spellberg serves as a key member of the Advisory Board of Zimek Technologies, the nation’s leader in infection control and biohazard remediation technology.

"Zimek’s automatic rapid decontamination and disinfection technology is a powerful weapon to fight infectious diseases," added Dr Spellberg. "Zimek’s three-dimensional technology is helping medical facilities, public health agencies and many other venues employ the highest standards of quality control to reduce healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs)."

Source: Zimek Technologies