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CHP investigates case of NDM-5 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae

     The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health confirmed today (September 24) a case of New Delhi metallo--lactamase-5 (NDM-5) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.

     The patient is a 55-year-old woman with underlying illness. She was admitted to Tseung Kwan O Hospital on September 15 with fever and was kept in a single isolation room since admission. She was discharged on September 23.

     Her rectal swab grew NDM-5 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae upon laboratory testing by the PHLSB.

     Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had travelled to Huizhou, Guangdong, in March. Her home contacts are asymptomatic. Investigations by the CHP are proceeding.

     "NDM is an enzyme which can deactivate carbapenems and other beta-lactams such as penicillins. Bacteria harbouring this NDM gene are commonly resistant to multiple antimicrobials, limiting therapeutic options and rendering severe clinical infections difficult to treat. Most bacteria with the NDM enzyme remain susceptible to two types of antibiotics, colistin and tigecycline," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     Infections have varied from being asymptomatic to being potentially life-threatening or fatal. The level of risk depends on which part of the body is affected by the infection and the general health of the patient.

     The spokesman said that proper use of antibiotics and personal hygiene, especially hand hygiene, are important for the prevention of emergence and cross-transmission of NDM strains.

Ends/Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:45


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