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CHP confirms case of NDM-1 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae
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     The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health confirmed a case of New Delhi metallo-]-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in a 66-year-old man.

     The man with chronic illness was earlier admitted to a hospital in the Mainland where he presented with coughing and blood stained sputum on October 21. His symptoms persisted with subsequent increasing shortness of breath. He was later transferred to North District Hospital on October 25 and then to Tuen Mun Hospital the following day (October 26) for further management. He is now in stable condition.

     The patient's stool specimen on October 25 tested positive for NDM-1 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, the PHLSB disclosed.

     His home contacts are asymptomatic. Investigations by the CHP are underway.

     This is the 17th detected case of NDM Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Hong Kong.

     NDM is an enzyme which can inactivate carbapenems and other beta-lactams such as penicillins. Bacteria harbouring this NDM gene are commonly resistant to multiple antimicrobials, limiting therapeutic options and rendering severe clinical infections difficult to treat. Most bacteria with the NDM enzyme remain susceptible to two types of antibiotics, colistin and tigecycline.

     Infections have varied from being asymptomatic to potentially life-threatening or fatal. The level of risk depends on which part of the body is affected by the infection, and the general health of the patient.

     NDM-producing Enterobacteriaceae was first reported in a Swedish patient of Indian origin who travelled to New Delhi, India, in 2008. The first fatal case was identified in 2010 in a patient who received medical treatment in Pakistan before being repatriated to Belgium.

     NDM-producing Enterobacteriaceae has now been reported in many countries and regions including Australia, Austria, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Sweden, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK and the US. Most patients had prior hospital contact in the Indian subcontinent.

     A CHP spokesman said that proper use of antibiotics and personal hygiene, especially hand hygiene, are important for the prevention of emergence and cross-transmission of NDM strains.

Ends/Monday, November 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:56

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