A boy from Minnesota died due to a superbug infection, reports The Washington Post. The boy was the 19th patient to contract the deadly infection caused by a drug-resistant strain of the bacterium Klebsiella pneumonia.

The boy had a severe genetic defect that lowered his immune response and was on medication due to a recent bone marrow transplant, suppressing his immunity further and making him especially vulnerable to the superbug attack,.

"We worried he was set up for a bad infection," said John Gallin, Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, to The Washington Post.

The deadly superbug infection began in June 2011 when a patient from a New York City hospital was sent to the NIH. The 43-year-old woman had a medical history of infections that were resistant to many drugs.

The woman was immediately isolated from the rest of the patients and treated separately. The infection was treated with a potent antibiotic drug called colistin which is administered as a last resort to counter an infection.

Despite all the precautions taken by the NIH, other patients in the hospital began getting infected from the deadly strain as many were on immunosuppressant drugs. The outbreak resulted in 17 patients getting infected, leading to 11 deaths.

"This kid probably got this infection because a patient who was a carrier [of the superbug] was on the same unit. There was undoubtedly some intrahospital transmission despite our best efforts," said Gallin to The Washington Post.

Gallin said that the hospital team had found the bacterial strain on the railings outside the boys' room, but it was impossible to tell who brought it there, the boy or the hospital staff.

"It's heartbreaking. What happened this summer was a very unfortunate case. All of these cases are hugely sad cases," Gallin said.