NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase)

  • Medical Author:
    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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What causes NDM-1 to be produced in bacteria?

The gene that encodes for NDM-1 is called blaNDM-1 and has been identified on bacterial chromosomes and plasmids. Plasmids are small segments of genetic material that are easily transferred among bacteria. In this way, the ability to produce NDM-1 can pass from one bacterial strain to another and even from one bacterial genus to another.

Cases of NDM-1 infection are usually caused by gram negative bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family. This family includes common bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Klebsiella. These bacteria reside in the bowel and may spread from person to person if hands or items are contaminated with fecal material. To date, strains of Klebsiella, Escherichia, and Acinetobacter genera of bacteria are known to possess the gene for NDM-1.

What are symptoms and signs of a person infected with bacteria carrying NDM-1?

Bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family are the most common cause of urinary infections. They can also cause bloodstream infections (sepsis), pneumonia, or wound infections. Symptoms and signs reflect the site of the infection. Most patients will have fever and fatigue. If bacteria enter the bloodstream, patients may go into shock. Symptoms do not differ between bacteria that express NDM-1 and those that do not. However, patients who have bacteria producing NDM-1 will not respond to most conventional antibiotics and are at high risk for complications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2015

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