More and more children with antibiotic-resistant germs

More and more children with antibiotic-resistant germs

Antibiotic treatment of children with a urinary tract infection can have serious consequences
In recent years, researchers have repeatedly warned of the possible spread of antibiotic resistance. Appropriate medication is often prescribed to treat harmless illnesses. Scientists have now found that children with urinary tract infections are particularly often resistant to antibiotic treatment. Such children are usually also resistant to treatment with antibiotics as adults.

When children are sick, parents can usually get the right medication from their doctor quickly. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics for urinary tract infections in children. This routine use of the drugs leads to the formation of resistant pathogens, which also affect adults, researchers from the University of Bristol and Imperial College London found in a recent study. The doctors published the results of their study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Approaches to the treatment of urinary tract infections must be rethought
Scientists from the University of Bristol and Imperial College London examined the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant germs in children. The study participants were suffering from a urinary tract infection caused by Escherichia coli bacteria. The bacterium is responsible for over 80 percent of all urinary tract infections in children, the experts explain. Antibiotics would then usually be used for treatment. It is urgent to rethink the current approaches to treating urinary tract infections, the doctors emphasize. Antibiotics might not be the right type of treatment in such cases.

Doctors examined 77,000 samples for their study
The researchers examined the results of 58 observational studies in 26 countries. Over 77,000 E. coli samples were previously analyzed in these. According to the current study, a connection between the previous exposure to antibiotics and the subsequent resistance of the germs to the drugs should be measured, the scientists explain. A distinction was made in the samples examined from which countries they came. It was important whether the country was a member of the "Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development" (OECD). In the so-called OECD member countries, around half of all samples were resistant to ampicillin (amoxicillin), a third of all samples were resistant to co-trimoxazole and around a quarter showed resistance to trimethoprim, the experts say. Resistance was much more widespread in the non-OECD countries.

The use of antibiotics for urinary tract infections can trigger later resistance
The prevalence of antibiotic resistance is often linked to primary antibiotic care in children with urinary tract infections, says lead author Ashley Bryce of the University of Bristol. In countries that are not members of the OECD, appropriate medication can be purchased without a prescription. For this reason, antibiotic resistance seems to be higher in such countries. The results show that prior use of antibiotics increases the risk of later resistance to this form of antibiotics, the researchers explain. This condition persists up to six months after treatment, Dr. Céire Costelloe from Imperial College London. (as)

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