A PATIENT with the new superbug resistant to all known antibiotics was treated in Harrow, health bosses have revealed.

A patient was admitted to the Frederick Salmon ward in St Mark's Hospital after being diagnosed with Klebsiella, a bacteria in the gut which contains the superbug NDM-1.

Details of the patient have just been released by the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the Watford Road hospital, in this month's board papers.

Fiona Coogan, the trust's director of infection prevention and control, wrote of the superbug: “This organism has not been seen in the trust before and there are no antibiotics available to treat this infection.

“This infection posed a significant risk and the Health Protection Agency strongly advised that this patient was not to be moved to different healthcare settings.”

Hospital staff isolated the patient, who is believe to have picked up the infection oversees, and a single staff member per shift was allocated to treating them.

Staff had to wear long sleeve disposable gowns and gloves when in contact with the patient, enhanced cleaning provisions on the ward, and restricted visitors to ensure the bug did not spread to other patients or outside the hospital.

The patient has since been discharged from hospital, and the rooms used for treatment have been fumigated to ensure no trace of the superbug remains in the hospital.

NDM-1 has hit the news as health experts warned of the danger to Britain's health service if the antibiotic resistant bug was to spread.

Dr David Livermore, director of antibiotic resistance monitoring at HPA, said: "Few antibiotics remain active against these bacteria.  Their spread underscores the need for good infection control in hospitals both in the UK and overseas, and the need for new antibiotic development." 

It is believed NDM-1 is being contracted in Indian subcontinent countries, many by people who have travelled there for hospital treatment.

The St Mark's patient, one of around 50 in the UK who caught the bug, had arrived at Heathrow Airport where they were taken to Hillingdon Hospital before being transferred to the specialist unit in Harrow.