Madras varsity bags superbug study

Madras varsity bags superbug study

Madras varsity bags superbug study

However, the department distanced itself from any fallout of the ‘superbug’ for medical tourism in the country.

Chennai-based Kumarasamy is the ‘lead author’ who was part of an international research team which had in the latest edition of the British medical journal Lancet reported about a “potentially major global health problem” due to prevalence of a harmful bacteria resistant to antibiotics and spreading through an enzyme labelled “New Delhi Metallo beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1)”. The report sourced its origin to India and advised patients against travelling to India for corrective surgeries.

The Indian medical fraternity is enraged at the report, more so its bid to tarnish India’s fair name as a popular cost-effective and efficient destination for a whole range of medical services and top private hospitals. Dr Padma Krishnan, the PhD researcher’s guide at the A L Mudaliyar Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at Taramani, was emphatic that Kumarasamy could hardly be blamed for the implications drawn from the findings on medical tourism in India.

“Our job is to look for antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and for that you have to look for the specific genes beneath it; that is what Kumarasamy has precisely done in this lab,” she said, adding that it a was research work of a very high order and the work’s scientific integrity was beyond question. 

Explaining the background of this particular bacterial strain, Dr Krishnan said it was first detected in New Delhi after which it took its name NDM-1. “The naming per se is just a method of nomenclature in the global scientific community, wherein similar strains have been named in the past after their respective geographical locations, like Germany, Seoul, etc,” she said.

“The emergence of this new type of Carbapenem-resistant gene was becoming a major health concern as this very expensive and not easily available drug (Carbapenem) represents a drug of last choice to critically ill patients,” Dr Krishnan said, after she discussed the latest developments with her HOD, Dr Thangam Menon and her student Kumarasamy.

Emphasising that most of the article’s writing part was done by the team in the UK, she clarified that Kumarasamy’s role was confined to the scientific part alone. “I don’t think he has any authority to speak anything beyond his research,” she replied to persistent queries about some media reports saying his research study was allegedly “fudged” in the UK.

“The candidate  has genuinely done his work... don’t say it is fudged please,” said Dr Menon, backing Kumarasamy.

Kumarasamy, who was on Friday called by Vice-Chancellor Dr Thiruvasagam to discuss extra support to his research work at Madras University, frightfully shied away from the media saying his guide has said all he wanted to say. He warded off queries saying: “I am too confused”.

India safe for medical tourism: Govt
 The Tourism Ministry on Friday came out with a formal assurance that India remained a safe and preferred medical tourism destination. “India is fast emerging as a global medical healthcare destination because of its world-class medical facilities which are manned by highly qualified doctors and paramedics,” official spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism said here on Friday.

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