(another excerpt from Wired's Superbug blog)
News from the ICAAC meeting: The “Indian superbug” NDM-1 — actually a gene which encodes an enzyme which confers resistance to almost all known antibiotics — has been found for the first time in a pet, somewhere in the United States.
When you consider the close contact we have with our pets — letting them lick us, smooching them on the head, allowing them to sleep on the bed — you’ll understand why this could be such bad news.
The finding was announced by Dr. Rajesh Nayak, a research scientist with the Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark. (The research was carried out by Dr. Bashar Shaheen, a post-doc in Dr. Nayak’s lab.) The gene (technically blaNDM) was found in isolates of E. coli that they received from Dr. Dawn Boothe of Auburn University — part of a project, Nayak said, in which Boothe receives bacterial samples from veterinary laboratories all over the United States. Of the 100 isolates they received from Boothe, six — all from a single animal — contained NDM-1.