NDM-1 outbreak contained, but cause for concern

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pretoria - The outbreak of New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) - a multi-drug resistant strain of bacteria - is cause for national concern, says the Department of Health.

However, the "institution-based" outbreak has been contained through the effective measures put in place so far and the possibility of it spreading further was limited, the department and Life Healthcare said in a joint statement.

NDM-1 was identified at Life The Glynnwood Hospital in Benoni, where 10 patients treated were confirmed to have NDM-1. Currently, there are three patients at the hospital with the NDM-1 bacterium, who are in a stable condition.

An outpatient at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg was earlier also confirmed to NDM-1.

The national, provincial and district health departments met with the Life The Glynnwood's management, representatives from Life Healthcare and other role players on Wednesday to assess the situation and determine the way forward.

"Life The Glynnwood was commended for identifying the NDM-1 strain promptly and implementing effective interventions to respond to the outbreak and prevent its spread. These measures include effective treatment and isolation of affected patients, strengthening infection control measures, screening of around 400 patients and staff as well as commissioning an independent clinical audit," the statement said.

A coordinating outbreak response team was also formed. The team will meet regularly to monitor and redirect response to the outbreak when needed. A monitoring system within public and private sector will also be set up.

"A formal report is being compiled and will be submitted to the Minister of Health. The parties will furthermore work together in formalising a NDM-1 treatment protocol for clinicians. They will also document lessons learned from the experience at Life The Glynnwood to share with other role players," the statement said.

According to Life Healthcare, NDM-1 is an enzyme produced by certain bacteria that makes them resistant to a broad range of antibiotics.

Most Read

SA News on Facebook