The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) confirmed two cases on sequential days of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-5 (NDM-5) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in hospitalized patients.

NDM
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae bacteria/CDC

The first case, confirmed on Thursday  is a 56-year-old man with underlying illness. He presented with fever and shortness of breath since July 15. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Queen Mary Hospital on July 18 and was admitted on the same day. His current condition is stable.

His rectal swab grew NDM-5 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae upon laboratory testing by the PHLSB. This case has been classified as colonization. Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had traveled to Cambodia from July 10 to 13. His home contacts have remained asymptomatic. Investigations by the CHP are proceeding.

The second patient whose colonization was confirmed Friday, is a 45-year-old woman with underlying illness. She presented with fever and cough since August 3 and was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital on the same day. She was discharged on August 5. Her current condition is stable.

Her rectal swab grew NDM-5 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae upon laboratory testing by the PHLSB. This case has been classified as colonization.

Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had traveled to Guangdong, China from June 28 to 29. Her home contacts have remained asymptomatic. Investigations by the CHP are proceeding.

“NDM is an enzyme which can deactivate carbapenems and other beta-lactams such as penicillins. Bacteria harbouring this NDM gene are commonly resistant to multiple antimicrobials, limiting therapeutic options and rendering severe clinical infections difficult to treat. Most bacteria with the NDM enzyme remain susceptible to two types of antibiotics, colistin and tigecycline,” a spokesman for the CHP said.

Infections have varied from being asymptomatic to being potentially life-threatening or fatal. The level of risk depends on which part of the body is affected by the infection and the general health of the patient. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page