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New superbugs spreading from South Asia: study

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PARIS — Plastic surgery patients have carried a new class of superbugs resistant to almost all antibiotics from South Asia to Britain and they could spread worldwide, researchers reported Wednesday.

Many hospital infections that were already difficult to treat have become even more impervious to drugs thanks to a recently discovered gene that can jump across different species of bacteria.

This so-called NDM-1 gene was first identified last year by Cardiff University’s Timothy Walsh in two types of bacteria — Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli — in a Swedish patient admitted to hospital in India.

Worryingly, the new NDM-1 bacteria are resistant even to carbapenems, a group of antibiotics often reserved as a last resort for emergency treatment for multi-drug resistant bugs.

In the new study, led Walsh and Madras University’s Karthikeyan Kumarasamy, researchers set out to determine how common the NDM-1 producing bacteria were in South Asia and Britain, where several cases had turned up.

Checking hospital patients with suspect symptoms, they found 44 cases — 1.5 percent of those screened — in Chennai, and 26 (eight percent) in Haryana, both in India.

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They likewise found the superbug in Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well 37 cases in Britain, where several patients had recently traveled to India or Pakistan for cosmetic surgery.

“India also provides cosmetic surgery for other Europeans and Americans, and it is likely that NDM-1 will spread worldwide,” said the study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

NDM-1 was mostly found in E. coli, a common source of community-acquired urinary tract infections, and K. pneumoniae, and was impervious to all antibiotics except two, tigecycline and colistin.

In some cases, even these drugs did not beat back the infection.

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Crucially, the NDM-1 gene was found on DNA structures, called plasmids, that can be easily copied and transferred between bacteria, giving the bug “an alarming potential to spread and diversify,” the authors said.

“Unprecedented air travel and migration allow bacterial plasmids and clones to be transported rapidly between countries and continents,” mostly undetected, they said.

The emergence of these new drug-resistant strains could become a serious global public health problem as the major threat shifts toward a broad class of bacteria — including those armed with the NDM-1 gene — known as “Gram-negative”, the researchers warn.

“There are few new anti-Gram-negative antibiotics in development, and none that are effective against NDM-1,” the study said.

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NDM-1 stands for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1.

Johann Pitout from the University of Calgary in Canada said patients who have medical procedures in India should be screened for multi-resistant bacteria before they receive care in their home country.

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Melania Trump ripped for bragging about helping children while her husband runs concentration camps for kids

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Melania Trump was ripped on Monday for pushing her signature "Be Best" campaign against bullying while her husband, President Donald Trump, runs concentration camps for children along the southern border.

"Looking forward to collaborating with all of our #BeBest Ambassadors. Delighted to be working alongside so many people both inside and outside of government to better the lives of children everywhere!" Melania Trump tweeted Monday.

The response was some of the harshest since she wore an "I Don't Care" jacked to visit the border.

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Border Patrol blocking Americans from donating toothbrushes and diapers for detained children

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Donald Trump on the US-Mexico Border

On Sunday, Austin Savage and five of his friends huddled into an SUV and went to an El Paso Target, loading up on diapers, wipes, soaps and toys.

About $340 later, the group headed to a Border Patrol facility holding migrant children in nearby Clint with the goal of donating their goods. Savage said he and his friends had read an article from The New York Times detailing chaos, sickness and filth in the overcrowded facility, and they wanted to help.

But when they arrived, they found that the lobby was closed. The few Border Patrol agents — Savage said there were between eight and 10 of them — moving in and out of a parking facility ignored them.

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Michael Flynn’s legal team is making bizarre moves — signaling he’s still hoping for a Trump pardon

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When disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn recently hired a new firebrand lawyer, Sidney Powell, it suggested he could be maneuvering to change his legal strategy.

And on Monday, new signs emerged that his legal team is looking to shake things up. Flynn had another status hearing on Monday before Judge Emmet Sullivan as he awaits sentencing for charges brought by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In the hearing on Monday, Powell, who had been publicly critical of the Russia investigation before joining Flynn’s team, requested a security clearance to review documents in the case. This was a surprising move, because the government said that there was no classified information in the documents it had turned over to the defense.

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