North MCD ties up with US, Japan institutes to trace superbugs

North MCD ties up with US, Japan institutes to trace superbugs

Ahead of the monsoon, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has collaborated with an institute in the US and a university in Japan to trace drug-resistant ‘superbugs’ causing diseases like cholera, typhoid and diphtheria here.

Starting next month, state-of-the-art laboratories set up at the corporation-run Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital will conduct forensic tests like DNA profiling and DNA fingerprinting to find if bacteria are drug-resistant.

“Of late, there has been a lot of hue and cry that the infections in India are resistant to all antibiotics. Its been reported in foreign journals that there are ‘superbugs’ here. So we have collaborated with Okayama University in Japan to set up a state-of-art laboratory to assess the situation,” said Dr D K Seth, Director Hospital Administration, North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

“The laboratories will be set up at Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital to assess whether patients suffering from cholera and typhoid are also facing the problem of drug resistance as reported in foreign journals,” he told Deccan Herald.

The North Corporation has also tied up with the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata for the project.

“We are setting up laboratories to find out the reasons why the bacteria become drug-resistant,” said Dr Seth.

The official said two reputed journals reported that some bacteria causing infections in India are immune to drugs, “which means if you get any infection (caused by such bacteria) you are doomed”.

The World Health Organisation has already approved some of the equipment for conducting tests on bacteria causing cholera and typhoid.

This has been set up at one of the laboratories at MVID Hospital. “The laboratory will start conducting tests next month,” said Dr Seth.

In another project, the North Corporation is setting up state-of-the-art laboratories to check whether or not the bacteria causing diphtheria have become drug-resistant.

“We have seen that despite being immunised against diphtheria, some people have been infected by the disease. We are trying to find out whether the bacteria causing diphtheria are resistant to the drug or if they have evolved or changed their nature,” said Dr Seth.

“We have collaborated with Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta in the USA to set up laboratories to carry out tests on bacteria causing diphtheria.”

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