Bacteria containing an antibiotic-resistant “superbug” gene have been found in 2 of 51 tap water samples in New Delhi and in dozens of puddles and pools that children could play in, according to a report published Thursday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. A team from Cardiff University in Britain found the gene, NDM-1, in 11 different types of bacteria, including those that cause cholera and dysentery. Bacteria with NDM-1 have caused fatal infections in people hospitalized in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and in a few foreigners who visited those countries for surgery, but this is the first time they have been found in the environment. Their presence in water has not caused any known outbreaks of untreatable disease, but experts fear it could, especially in the rainy season.
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