Education Resource

Sonia Shah on Super-Resistant Bacteria, Medical Tourism and India's Poor

Reporter and Pulitzer Center grantee Sonia Shah recently traveled to New Delhi, India where inappropriate and widespread use of antibiotics have given rise to a new strain of bacteria that is resistant to even the most powerful drugs. These bacterial infections—endowed with the superbug “NDM-1” gene—have so far spread to 12 countries on three continents, in part due to India's growing medical tourism industry. The spread of these infections poses not only scientific challenges but also political and economic ones, as market incentives to promote the development of new antibiotics are lacking.