Antibiotic-resistant NDM-1 gene found in pristine Arctic

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  1. Scientists have detected antibiotic resistant (AR) gene NDM-1(New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase) in pristine high Arctic region(Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard),one of the earth’s most remote spots.It clearly indicates the extent of globalisation of antimicrobial resistance (AR).
  2. The enzyme got New Delhi in its name because it was first detected in 2008 in Swedish patient of Indian origin who had travelled to India.
  3. The NDM-1 protein product itself does not cause disease, but it has the potential to change the characteristics of bacteria.The gene makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics such as carbapenems.In this way, it can lead to a range of conditions, such as a urinary tract, bloodstream, wound infections and pneumonia.
  4. Reasons for spread of superbug might be a)Involvement of migratory birds or (b) It may have migrated with humans also and spread via local wildlife, or it may be combination of both.