Genes associated with antibiotic-resistant superbugs have been discovered in the high Arctic, one of the most remote places on earth, showing the rapid spread and global nature of the resistance problem. This reported by the English newspaper the Gardian. The discovery of these genes, possibly carried by birds or humans, shows rapid spread of crisis
The genes were first identified in a hospital patient in India in 2007-8, then in surface waters in Delhi in 2010, probably carried there by sewage, and are now confirmed in soil samples from Svalbard in the Arctic circle, in a paper in the journal Environment International. They may have been carried by migrating birds or human visitors, but human impact on the area is minimal.
While the genes, called blaNDM-1, have been identified in soil on the Norwegian archipelago, the presence of superbugs has not. The genes can confer on bacteria resistance to carbapenems, which are antibiotics of last resort for the treatment of human diseases.
Antibiotic resistance threatens a global “apocalypse”, England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has warned, and last week the health secretary, Matt Hancock, called it a bigger threat than climate change or warfare. Common operations could become life-threatening and rapidly spreading and evolving diseases could overcome our last medical defences, reversing nearly a century of remarkable progress in human health.
Madam Therapeutics is developing new medicines that aim to overcome the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Madam Therapeutics is a One-Health company, with different development programs for human health, as well as animal health. Our lead molecules are SAAP-148 for use in infections in humans, and p10 for treatment of infections in animals.