Travelers May Spread Drug-Resistance Gene From South Asia

Posted by admin on July 4th, 2011 at 07:54am

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This is the VOA Special English Health Report.

Scientists say they have found dangerous forms of bacteria in the drinking water of New Delhi, India. The bacteria has a gene scientists call New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, or NDM-1. The gene is dangerous because it can make bacteria resistant to antibiotic drugs.

Researchers from the University of Cardiff in Britain led the study. They found the NDM-1 bacteria present in two of fifty drinking water samples. They also found it in seepage water – the water that children might play in on streets. The gene was found in eleven bacterial species, including those that cause cholera and dysentery, a diarrheal disease.

The researchers also reported finding NDM-1 in bacteria from medical patients. The patients were from India and other South Asian countries, Europe and North America.

The scientists now estimate that about one hundred million Indians with the bacteria are traveling around the world. Timothy Walsh leads the NDM-1 research at University of Cardiff. He says he is concerned about the gene spreading.

TIMOTHY WALSH: “The gene pool in India, Pakistan, probably Bangladesh and even Sri Lanka, is absolutely huge. Wherever these people travel they carry their normal flora with them, one hundred trillion bacteria. Therefore the ultimate consequence of this is it can spread worldwide.”

The United States government reported the presence of NDM-1 in three people last year. All had been to India earlier for medical treatment.

Experts say people with the NDM-1 form of bacteria in their body can remain healthy. The danger is created if you get bacteria that cause disease. The gene can produce the disease bacteria and make enzymes to fight even the most powerful antibiotics. Antibiotics are the main treatment for bacterial infections.

Officials in India say its water supply is safe. Vishwa Mohan Katoch is the Director General of Health Services. He says the bacteria do not usually cause a problem.

However, officials in New Delhi are investigating. Timothy Walsh says he offered his team to help in the investigation, but Indian officials rejected the invitation. He worries about the science of the study.

TIMOTHY WALSH: “My fear is that this investigation that they are going to undertake will almost certainly not employ the right methods and the study designed will be quite poor and therefore I’m not convinced that the outcome will be scientifically credible.”

Professor Walsh also says its time for the international community to force countries to follow World Health Organization guidelines for antibiotic use.

And that’s the VOA Special English Health Report written by Caty Weaver and Vidushi Sinha. For more news about health, and to download our reports, go to You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and VOA Learning English. I’m Steve Ember.

Under Health report


  • 1. huyen  |  July 4th, 2011 at 1:06 pm


  • 2. xuka  |  July 5th, 2011 at 8:54 am

    The antibiotic drug-resistance is the biggest attention in over the world. An easy-going way of using antibiotic is a main reason. To control this situation, every country must follow to WHO guidelines for antibiotic use. In Vietnam, many people have bought antibiotic drugs themselves that have no prescription drug. Making a sense about antibiotic use is the necessary action by propagating via transmission media. To win in fight with bacteria, we must prevent of its spread drug – resistance.

  • 3. bee  |  July 6th, 2011 at 7:43 am

    file not found again!I cannot listen it !! what’s happen???

  • 4. Hy  |  July 6th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    This bad new has also brought a danger for peoples of all countries over the world.
    Bacteria with gene MDN-1 is really a threat for people.When bacteria antibiotic resistant is,the treatment against disease will become very difficult.The danger of antibiotic resistant bacteria has come very nearly to us,because the scientist now estimate that about one hundred million Indians with the bacteria are traveling around the world and this MDN-1 gene can spread to everywhere .

  • 5. ThaoTtruc  |  July 7th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    expert and commercial always stand together the benefit and profit. would it be worth to trust as we expect?

  • 6. susprs  |  July 7th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I hope that Indians with the bacteria will never travel to our country and the goverments of nations that have the patients suffer from above bacteria will have solutions to cope with spread of this kind of bacteria soon.

  • 7. Thao truc  |  July 8th, 2011 at 8:45 am

    it is difficult to say that ” wish bacteria not spread to me , dont bring it into my country” in my opinion we should have solutions to prevent spreading to protect ourselves

  • 8. VAN  |  August 10th, 2011 at 4:14 am

    Bacteria have changed a lot. They make people think and always find the way to eliminate them a lot. Please be careful with food

  • 9. doremon  |  August 24th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Dear Admin,
    This is the last listening lesson i received from your website. For a long time i have not gotten any lesson . I hope to receive it as soon as possible.
    Thank you for your consideration!

  • 10. Tram Nhung  |  September 18th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I am looking forward to get the result of investigation on this.
    For a long time i have not gotten any lesson . I hope to receive it as soon as possible.
    Thank you.

  • 11. God_titan  |  September 20th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    @TramNhung. Me too \:D/

  • 12. bee  |  September 20th, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    oh so long !! admin

  • 13. bee  |  September 20th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    so sad!! have no new lesson / hic

  • 14. bee  |  September 20th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    i have listened for a long time but i still no listen, I can only know some words…. hic

  • 15. bee  |  September 30th, 2011 at 5:34 am


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