Belgian man dies of South Asian superbug: hospital

13th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Belgian man died from a drug-resistant "superbug" originating in South Asia, a doctor said Friday, the first reported death from the bacteria.

The victim was infected by the bacteria while being treated in a hospital in Pakistan, Denis Pierard, a microbiologist from AZ VUB hospital in Brussels where the man had been treated since June, told Belgian media.

"He was involved in a car accident during a trip to Pakistan. He was hospitalised with a major leg injury and then repatriated to Belgium, but he was already infected," the doctor.

Despite being administered colistin, a powerful antibiotic, the patient died, the doctor said.

The superbug -- a bacterial gene called New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) -- was first identified last year in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India.

According to a report on Belgian TV channel RTBF, it was the second reported case of the bacteria in the country this year.

British medical journal The Lancet reported this week that bacteria containing the ATM-1 gene had been found in 37 Britons who had received medical treatment in South Asia, while three cases have been reported in Australia.

© 2010 AFP

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