NDM-1 bacteria

What is NDM-1 Bacteria?

NDM-1 is a metallo-beta-lactamase enzyme named controversially after “New Delhi,” as this city was once presumed to be the source of this dangerous enzyme. The source of this enzyme was later disputed and it has subsequently been suggested that geographical locations should not be associated with organism names. 

The NDM-1 enzyme is actually produced by certain bacteria, and can enable other bacteria, like E. coli, to become resistant to many antibiotics, thus making infections difficult to treat. (E. coli and K. pneumoniae are just two examples of such bacteria). NDM-1 is spread by direct and indirect contact with an infected person (by touching them or by touching something that they’ve contaminated). Medical tourism (having cheaper operations abroad) and international travel have also been suggested as a cause of the rapid spread of NDM-1 associated infections.

Symptom summary

  • Fatigue.
  • Shock (if the bacteria enters the bloodstream).
  • Fever.
  • Urinary infections.
  • Other symptoms specific to each illness.

Prevention tips

Hygiene Habit

Concentrate on hand-hygiene
Ensure that you regularly wash your hands with an antibacterial soap and disinfect hands with hand sanitiser throughout the day, particularly after using the bathroom, before preparing food, and, of course, if you’ve been in contact with an infected person. This will protect you and your loved ones from NBM-1 related illnesses and also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Medical Practices

Even protect yourself in hospitals
When sufferers were treated in hospitals, NDM-1 passed on to other patients too. Be vigilant. Patients should be placed in private rooms, hospital staff should wear protective gowns and gloves, and any visitors should wear gloves and regularly sanitise their hands too.

Medical Practices

Use antibiotics carefully
NDM-1 neutralises the effects of carbapenems, which are one of the most powerful types of antibiotics. To reduce the risk of NDM-1 developing in new bacteria (and then making that bacteria carbapenem/antibiotic-resistant too!), you have to use existing antibiotics wisely. Talk to your GP about the antibiotics that you are already taking.


  • NDM-1 can only be found in India…

    The Indian Council of Medical Research has stated that bugs with similar DNA molecules have been reported in Israel, America, Greece and Scotland. It is unwise to assume that the rest of the world is immune!

  • The NDM-1 infections cannot be treated…

    They are difficult to treat because they’re resistant to most antibiotics. However, NDM-1 infections have been found to be treatable to some extent by the use of colistin and tigecycline. NDM-1 can actually be successfully treated if identified early and if colistin is used promptly.

Medical source : British Health Authority


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