London: Superbug genes that were first detected in New Delhi over ten years ago have now spread to the Arctic – one of the last 'pristine' places on the Earth, scientists say. Antibiotic-Resistant Genes (ARGs) provide multidrug resistance (MDR) in microorganisms. An example is NDM-1, which is a protein that can confer resistance in a range of bacteria.
NDM-1 was first identified in New Delhi and coded by the resistant gene blaNDM-1. Strains that carry blaNDM-1 were first found in clinical settings in 2008, but by 2010 blaNDM-1 was found in surface waters in Delhi.
Analysing the extracted DNA from forty soil cores at eight locations along Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard, a total of 131 ARGs were detected, according to the study published in the journal Environmental International.
Carried in the gut of animals and people, blaNDM-1 and other medically-important ARGs were found in Arctic soils that were likely spread in the faecal matter of birds, other wildlife and human visitors to the area....