New York: Antibiotic use following surgery for complicated appendicitis may do more harm than good, suggests new research.
The researchers found that patients who received antibiotics following complicated appendicitis surgery remained in the hospital up to one day longer than similar patients who had not received antibiotics.
“Our study indicates antibiotics may not be necessary following surgery for complicated appendicitis,” said lead researcher Dennis Kim from Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in the US.
The researchers studied the outcomes over five years for 410 adults with complicated appendectomies, or those where the appendix was found to be perforated or gangrenous.
Post-operative antibiotics were administered to 274 of those patients, or 66.8 percent.
The study compared patients who received post-operative antibiotics to those who had not received the medications and found no significant difference in wound complications among the two groups.
The 274 patients who received post-operative antibiotics did have slightly longer hospital stays – an average of about one day longer – than the patients who did not receive the medication.
“Antibiotics are not without risks, costs or complications. While further study is needed, surgeons and physicians may wish to re-examine or be more selective in deciding which patients may potentially benefit from post-operative antibiotic therapy for complicated appendicitis,” Kim noted.
The study was published online in the American Journal of Surgery.
Overuse of antibiotics in children can lead to drug-resistant infections, as well as leave kids at high risk of a future infection that is difficult to treat, the researchers warned.
“International and national guidelines clearly state that antibiotics should not be given for a deterioration in asthma symptoms, because this is rarely associated with a bacterial infection,” Esme Baan from the Erasmus University, in the Netherlands.
“Inappropriate use of antibiotics can be bad for individual patients and the entire population, and makes it harder to control the spread of untreatable infections.”
The researchers found that children with asthma were approximately 1.6 times more likely to be prescribed antibiotics, compared to children who do not have asthma.
“Antibiotics should only be given when there is clear evidence of a bacterial infection such as for pneumonia,” Baan said.
“However, we saw that, in children with asthma, most of the antibiotic prescriptions in children were intended for asthma exacerbations or bronchitis, which are often caused by a virus rather than bacteria.”
For the study, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2017 in Italy, the team included 1.5 million children from the UK, including around 150,000 with asthma, and a further 375,000 from The Netherlands, including around 30,000 with asthma.
Antibiotic prescription rates were almost two-fold higher in the UK overall. In both countries, amoxicillin was the most commonly used antibiotic. (IANS)
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics causes more about 23,000 deaths annually.
Breast milk helps newborns fight bacterial infections
Researchers discover natural sugars that can reduce human dependence on antibiotics
Washington DC, August 22, 2017 : Newborns and infants are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and diseases. In the face of medical challenges, young mothers tend to look for remedies that cater to the problem with the least possible side-effects. In a latest study by a Washington DC University, it has been revealed that the mother’s milk consists of a unique blend of fats, proteins, and sugars that help protect babies against bacterial infection.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, mother’s milk is supposed to be the only nutrition for a newborn for the first six months.
Breastfeeding is one of the key phases to nurture a newborn. Combined with antibodies and nutrients, the practice is not only beneficial to the baby but for the mothers as well.
Breast milk addresses a multitude of problems and diseases in children,
Lowers risk of allergies and asthma
Reduces respiratory illnesses and chances of diarrhea.
Apart from these, researches have not revealed that it also helps babies fight against bacterial infections.
An interdisciplinary team of doctors and chemists at the Vanderbilt University have discovered that carbohydrates in a mother’s milk possess a complex blend of antibacterial properties. Additionally, the research also revealed that apart from their own qualities, the presence of these carbohydrates also enhances the efficacy of antibacterial proteins present in the milk.
Calling it an example of a comprehensive antimicrobial action by the carbohydrates present in the mother’s milk, according to Steven Townsend, the director of the study, “One of the remarkable properties of these compounds is that they are clearly non-toxic, unlike most antibiotics”, as per a report by ANI.
According to the data by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, bacterial resistance to antibiotics causes about 23,000 deaths annually.
Additionally researchers asserted that pregnant women are the most common hosts to group B strep bacteria, which cause severe infections in newborns. These infections often lead to pneumonia or sepsis, and in extreme cases death due to the absence of properly developed defense mechanisms in newborns.
However, group B strep bacteria rarely infect babies.
This motivated the researches to undertake a research to address the growing number of deaths and to probe whether the mother’s milk contains specific protective compounds that fight these bacteria in babies.
Previously, it was believed by biochemists that proteins are the most important followed by carbohydrates. “Far less is known about the function of sugars, and as a trained glycoprotein chemist, I wanted to explore their role,” asserted Townsend.
For the research, the carbohydrate in human milk, also known as oligosaccharides, was collected from different donor samples. The samples were then summarized with a mass spectrometry technique that is used to identify large biomolecules. The obtained compound was then added to strep cultures which were then observed using a microscope.
The study showed that the sugars found in breast milk in such cases can act as anti-biofilms agents. To put it simply, the researchers observed that the sugars not only sensitized the target bacteria but also killed them. Some of the oligosaccharides directly fought the infecting bacteria. Additionally the carbohydrate compounds also broke down the biofilms that the bacteria form to protect themselves.
It ha been revealed that these powerful sugars can potentially become part of an antibacterial treatment for adults and infants alike, thus reducing our dependence on artificially produced antibiotics.
This study has been published and is now a part of the ACS Infectious Diseases journal.
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) showed concerns and urged to find measures against diminishing efficacy of antibiotics. This efficacy makes bacterial infections such as skin sores and diarrhoea fatal and untreatable.
“Now is the time to turn pledges into action, stake out a clear roadmap and take action to prevent further erosion of our health security. The effectiveness of existing antibiotics is extremely valuable, and we must do all we can to preserve it,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia.
According to the WHO, when an antibiotic is used, bacteria that can resist that antibiotic have a greater chance of survival than those that are susceptible.
When antibiotics are used inappropriately — such as when they are taken needlessly, too regularly or when an incomplete course is taken — bacterial infections become immune to them, Khetrapal Singh said at a three-day international meeting on ‘Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Public Health Challenge and Priority’, here.
Globally 700,000 people die every year as a result of once-treatable health conditions.
Khetrapal Singh urged the South Asian countries to stop the easy availability of antibiotics.
“Governments must take strong measures to stop the over-the-counter availability of antibiotics while strengthening and enforcing legislation to prevent the manufacture, sale and distribution of substandard antibiotics,” said Khetrapal Singh.
In 2011, Health Ministers of all countries in the South Asian region adopted the Jaipur Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance, which calls for national action plan to combat the problem.(IANS)