(Last Updated On: 2nd October 2017)

New Delhi metallo beta- Lactamase-1 bacteria-most recently found..

“Delhi’s SUPERBUG”

Scientists have recently found a superbug that is immune to all the antibiotics, and the unfortunate thing for India is it is found in its National Capital city, New Delhi from which it has adopted its name.

delhi's superbug ndm-1

This bacteria was spotted in the Public Water Supply of Delhi for the first time, which later on was also found in Vietnam’s water sources.

This superbug is now known to be found in over 70 other Nations.


It is a term usually used for bacterium resistant of antibiotics which are usually used to treat it. A superbug is generally resistance to multiple drugs/antibiotics.

What makes bacterium a superbug:

Whenever we fall ill, we have a tendency of using wide range of antibiotics without prescription or without doctor’s recommendation. This bad habit of not consulting a doctor and self medication makes the bacteria resistance towards that drug/ antibiotic.

The most recently found superbug is New Delhi Metallo beta- Lactamase-1(NDM-1) bacteria. 

What is NDM-1 ???

It is an enzyme that makes the bacteria resistant to a wide range of beta-lactam antibiotics (carbapenem family).

now what are beta-lactam antibiotics: these wide range of antibiotics contain beta lactam ring in their chemical structure because of which they are called beta lactam antibiotics. example penams, carbapenams, monobactum, cephalosporins.

mechanism of resistance towards β-lactam antibiotics is by production of enzyme known as beta lactamases. These enzymes hydrolyse ( in short destroys) the main structure (ie beta lactam ring) of these antibiotics, thus making these drugs ineffective against the bacterial disease.

Two known types of β-lactamases are:-

  1. serine-β-lactamases (SBLs)-that inactivates penams and cephalosporins
  2. metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs)- inactivates carbapenams antibiotics.

here we consider only metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs). New Delhi metallo beta lactamase-1 (NDM-1) is newly discoverd metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) that demonstrates resistance to all β-lactam antibiotics. Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter generally produce NDM-1 enzyme, making these bacteria highly resistant to carbapenams and other antibiotics.

In 2007, the first case of NDM-1-producing bacteria were isolated from a Swedish patient of Indian Origin, who was under the treatment of urinary tract infection caused by carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. Since then many cases of diseases caused by New Delhi metallo beta- Lactamase-1(NDM-1) bacteria were witnessed across the globe.

superbug in delhi

Thus it is concluded from various studies worldwide that necessary hygenic conditions must be maintained to reduce the risk of these type of hazardous superbugs. In order to live a safe and life free from diseases we must consider following fundamental points:

  • Maintaining proper self hygiene,
  • Drinking boiled water or if possible mineral water,
  • Must not litter everywhere,
  • Avoid the self medication when we are ill,
  • Hospitals must implement the proper infection control measures.

Do not forget to share this article to spread awareness towards the cause of emergence of this superbug and stay safe by following the cleanliness measures.

[References: Xuequan Wang1‡, Meiling Lu1‡, Yang Shi1, YuOu1*, Xiaodong Cheng2*, Discovery of Novel New Delhi Metallo-β-Lactamases-1 Inhibitors by Multistep Virtual
Gayathri D , NK Eramma , TN Devaraja, New Delhi metallo beta- Lactamase-1; Incidence and threats.;
Bashir Ahmad Fomda, Asiya Khan & Danish Zahoor, NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo beta lactamase-1) producing gram-negative bacilli: Emergence & clinical implications;
M Berrazeg1,2, S M Diene1, L Medjahed3, P Parola1, M Drissi2, D Raoult1, J M Rolain, NEW DELHI METALLO-BETA-LACTAMASE AROUND THE WORLD: AN EREVIEW USING GOOGLE MAPS 

Manisha Singh Tripathi

Medical Writer, Pharmacist, M.Tech. Biotech.
Co-Founder & Author of mymed.in

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