The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health confirmed a case of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase-4 (NDM-4) Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae.
The patient is a 23-year-old man with underlying illness. He was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on August 30 after trauma. He is currently in a serious condition.
His endotracheal aspirate grew NDM-4 Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae upon laboratory testing by the PHLSB. The case has been classified as colonisation.
Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had travelled to Nepal. 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.