LONDON — British scientists have found a superbug that is resistant to most antibiotics and are warning that it is widespread in India and could soon appear worldwide.
The superbug has so far been identified in 37 people who returned to the U.K. after undergoing surgery in India or Pakistan.
In an article published online Wednesday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, doctors reported finding a new gene, called NDM-1. The gene alters bacteria, allowing them to become resistant to nearly all known antibiotics. It has been seen largely in E. coli bacteria, the most common cause of urinary tract infections, and on DNA structures that can be easily copied and passed onto other types of bacteria.