3% patientsí bacteria samples show total resistance

In a worrisome finding, an ongoing survey at Sassoon hospital reveals that three per cent of bacterial infections in samples collected from patients over the past two-three months show total resistance to antibiotics.

Th study showed that three per cent of microbiologically confirmed infections seen in patients' blood, urine and pus samples are not sensitive to any antibiotic. The state is collecting data from all government medical colleges ahead of planning a legislation on preventing misuse of over-the-counter antibiotics that leads to drug resistance.

At Sassoon's microbiology department entrusted with the task of collecting samples to analyse drug sensitivity, it was found that 3 per cent of bugs from samples are not sensitive to any antibiotic. A total of 1,588 samples were checked and 275 pathogenic organisms identified of which three per cent -mainly from enterobacteriaceae and pseudomonas groups - was not sensitive to any antibiotic while 75 per cent was resistant to at least three antibiotics.

However, microbiologists have yet to study genetic mapping of bugs that are resistant to the carbapenem family of drugs. It may be recalled that B J Medical College and National Centre for Cell Science had reported the New Delhi metallobeta lactamase-1 NDM in Pune last year. The ongoing antibiotic surveillance has not reported any new strain. Genetic mapping is on and results are awaited. NDM-1 is an enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to a broad range of beta-lactam antibiotics and 20 patients were detected with the NDM strain.

Microbiologists at private hospitals in Pune say their hospital infection committees have noted a high level of resistance to antibiotics. Dr Nita Munshi, coordinator of the hospital infection society in Pune, said it is even tough at the hospital setting where patients arrive in a bad condition after taking oral antibiotics elsewhere. "We need to have a regulation and the government's efforts are welcome," says Munshi.

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