Case of NDM-4 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae under CHP investigation

     The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health confirmed today (July 4) a case of New Delhi metallo-]-lactamase-4 (NDM-4) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.

     The patient is a 40-year-old woman with underlying illnesses. She was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on June 25 and was discharged on June 26. Her current condition is stable.

     Her rectal swab grew NDM-4 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae upon laboratory testing by the PHLSB.

     Preliminary investigation revealed that the patient was hospitalised in India on June 6. Her home contact has remained asymptomatic. Investigations by the CHP are ongoing.

     "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," a spokesman for the CHP explained.

     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.

     The 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/Friday, July 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:45