Monday January 20, 2020

Gene Triggering Antibiotic Reaction Risk Identified, Says Study

"This observation also represents significant progress as we zero in on the mechanisms of these life-threatening immune-mediated drug reactions,"

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genes
The study modified the levels of the protein encoded by a single gene known as GPR39.  Pixabay

Researchers have identified a gene that increases the risk of a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to the commonly prescribed antibiotic vancomycin.

Vancomycin, used to treat serious and life-threatening bacterial infections, has been known to be a common antibiotic trigger for a severe reaction known as DRESS — Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms.

The genetic risk factors predisposing specific patients were not known yet.

The new study, led by researchers from the Vanderbilt University in the US, showed that vancomycin triggers DRESS only in people carrying specific variations in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes.

DRESS has been characterised by fever, widespread skin rash and internal organ damage.

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Gene triggering antibiotic reaction risk identified. Pixabay

Routine testing for HLA gene could improve patient safety and reduce unnecessary avoidance of other antibiotics, said the study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Since many patients who develop DRESS are often exposed to multiple antibiotics and other drugs simultaneously, the team used a specific diagnostic test developed in their laboratories called gamma-interferon ELISpot.

ELISpot exposed patients’ white blood cells to vancomycin and other concurrently administered antibiotics.This test enabled them to determine which drug was most likely causing DRESS.

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“This test will be important in the clinical care of patients starting vancomycin and will prevent mortality and short and long-term complications,” said Elizabeth Phillips, researcher at the varsity.

“This observation also represents significant progress as we zero in on the mechanisms of these life-threatening immune-mediated drug reactions,” she said. (IANS)

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Kids in LMICs Receive Excessive Amount of Antibiotic Prescriptions

Kids in low income countries prescribed excess antibiotics

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Antibiotic Prescriptions
Children who receive excessive antibiotic prescriptions may lose the ability to fight pathogens. Pixabay

Kids in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are receiving an excessive amount of antibiotic prescriptions that could harm the children’s ability to fight pathogens as well as increase antibiotic resistance worldwide, warns a new study.

Children in these countries received 25 antibiotic prescriptions through age five – a “remarkable” estimate, given that two antibiotic prescriptions per year is considered excessive in many high-income settings, said the study published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

“We knew children in LMICs are sick more often, and we knew antibiotic prescription rates are high in many countries. What we did not know was how these elements translate into actual antibiotic exposure – and the results are rather alarming,” said lead author of the study Gunther Fink from Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Basel, Switzerland.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of today’s biggest threats to global health and development, according to the World Health Organization.

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Children in LMICs received 25 antibiotic prescriptions through age. Pixabay

One factor contributing to this global health threat is the excessive use of antibiotics worldwide.

The research team from Swiss TPH and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the US analysed data from 2007-2017 from health facilities and household surveys from eight countries: Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Results showed that antibiotics were administered in 81 per cent of cases for children with a respiratory illness, in 50 per cent for children with diarrhoea, and in 28 per cent for children with malaria.

The researchers found that the number of antibiotic prescriptions in early childhood varied from country to country.

While a child in Senegal received approximately one antibiotic prescription per year in the first five years of life, a child in Uganda was prescribed up to 12.

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In comparison, a prior study showed that children under five in Europe receive less than one antibiotic prescription per year on average.

“This number is still high given that the vast majority of infections in this age group are of viral origin,” said study co-author Valerie D’Acremont from Swiss TPH. (IANS)