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Two cases of NDM-5 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae under CHP investigation
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     The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health confirmed today (August 18) two cases of New Delhi metallo-]-lactamase-5 (NDM-5) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.

     The first patient is a 66-year-old woman with underlying illnesses. She was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) for other illness on July 22 and was transferred to Grantham Hospital on August 6 for further management. She was discharged on August 9 and her condition is stable. She has no recent travel history and her home contacts were asymptomatic.

     The second patient is a 44-year-old man with underlying illnesses. He was admitted to QMH for medical investigation on August 7 and was discharged on August 8. He is now in stable condition. He has no recent travel history and his home contact was asymptomatic.

     Both patients' rectal swabs yielded NDM-5 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae as confirmed by the PHLSB.

     CHP's investigations are on-going.

     "NDM is an enzyme which can deactivate 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 said.

     Infections have varied from being asymptomatic to being 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/Monday, August 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:56

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