India is working to set up a cell that will issue guidelines and keep a record of hospital-acquired infections,'' V.M. Katoch, Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, said here on Thursday. As of now India did not have any rules to check hospital-acquired infections.

Describing a study that linked a multiple drug-resistant superbug detected in Britain to India as unfair, he said such reports could dent the prospects of medical tourism in the country. It was over decades that plasmids transmitted among bacteria and they might also encode for resistance to many drugs. “It should have been highlighted that getting an infection from such drug resistant bacteria is a matter of chance, is a global phenomenon and is preventable by sound infection prevention strategies which are followed in any good hospital,'' he said. Similar plasmids have been reported from Israel, Greece and Scotland.

According to a report in a British scientific journal, the superbug was detected in at least 37 cases in that country, mainly among patients who had travelled to India and Pakistan for cosmetic surgery, cancer treatment and transplants. A national resistance alert was issued in July 2009 in U.K. hospitals and a similar alert has been sounded now.

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