Antibiotic-resistant bacteria among children in the United States on the rise

(Chicago)–Infections caused by a specific type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise in U.S. children, according to new study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. While still rare, the bacteria are increasingly found in children of all ages, especially those 1-5 years old, raising concerns about dwindling treatment options.

“Some infections in children that have typically been treated with oral antibiotics in the past may now require hospitalization, treatment with intravenous drugs, or both, as there may not be an oral treatment option available,” said Dr. Latania K. Logan, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

The team of researchers led by Logan analyzed resistance patterns in approximately 370,000 bacterial cultures from pediatric patients collected nationwide between 1999 and 2011.

“Physicians should obtain cultures for suspected bacterial infections to help determine which antibiotics are best,” said Logan.

Additional drug development, keeping younger patients in mind, is also needed. “The overwhelming majority of current research for new pharmaceuticals against antibiotic-resistant organisms are in adults,” said Logan.

“More research is needed to define risk factors for these infections in children, their prevalence in different settings, and their molecular epidemiology,” Logan said. A companion study by several of the same researchers is now available online in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, which suggests that children with neurologic conditions are at higher risk for infections caused by ESBL-producing bacteria.

FOLLOW THE ORIGINAL EUREKALERT! ARTICLE HERE.

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