Welsh scientists have spoken of the growing public health emergency in India after discovering antibiotic-resistant superbugs in the drinking water supply.
The Cardiff University team that discovered the NDM-1 gene that creates the new breed of superbugs said some of the resistant bacteria found in New Delhi could cause dysentery and cholera.
Their findings emerged as the World Health Organisation today said there was less than a handful of antibiotics currently in the pipeline to combat these types of superbugs.
It added that the worldwide spread of genes resistant to last-resort antibiotics, like NDM-1 which has been already been found in people in South Wales, is a “nightmare scenario”.
Professor Tim Walsh, of Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, who led the research in New Delhi, said: “We found resistant bacteria in public water used for drinking, washing and food preparation and also in pools and rivulets in heavily-populated areas where children play.
The discovery was termed as “extremely worrying” by the researchers.
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