By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in Tuscany, Italy are reporting (computer translated) an outbreak of the superbug bacterium, New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in hospitals since November 2018.


According to public health officials, a significant diffusion was observed in the north-western area of ​​Tuscany.

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In Tuscany, the NDM-producing bacteria have been identified in the blood of patients admitted with serious pathologies and confirmed by molecular tests. The spread of NDM bacteria has affected many hospitals: in most cases it was colonization, but there have also been cases of serious infections in already compromised patients. Between November 2018 and August 31, 2019 the NDM bacteria were isolated in the blood of 75 patients .

The cases were lethal in 40% of patients with sepsis, a percentage comparable to lethality for this condition caused by other bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics.

NDM is an enzyme which can inactivate 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. Infections vary from being asymptomatic to 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.