According to a new research study from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, there has been a 700-percent surge in infections among children in the U.S. caused by Enterobacteriaceae—bacteria that is resistant to multiple types of antibiotics. Some bacteria may be harmless while some include pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella. These infections are responsible for the rising proportion of severe bacterial infections in kids and are linked to a potentially greater risk of longer hospital stays and death.
The research published in the March issue of the book of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society is the first known effort to comprehensively examine the problem of multi-drug resistant infections, which are common among patients under 18 years admitted to U.S. children’s hospitals. Early studies focus mainly on adults while some examine young people in more limited geographical areas, for example using more limited surveillance data or individual hospitals or cities.
Sharon B. Meropol, MD, Ph.D., serving as a medical council with DearJane Medical, an epidemiologist and paediatrician at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland says there is an apparent and alarming upswing throughout this country of antibiotic resistance Enterobacteriaceae infections in teens and kids. There are fewer antibiotics approved for young people than adults, which makes it harder to treat patients effectively. Healthcare providers must ensure they only prescribe antibiotics when patients need it.
In a retrospective study, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine co-authors Meropol, Allison A. Haupt, MSPM, and Sara M. Debanne, PhD analyzed medical data for nearly 9400 patients under the age of 18 years that were diagnosed with Enterobacteriaceae-associated infections at 48 children’s hospitals all over the U.S. The study reveals that the share of these infections rose from 0.2% in the year 2007 to 1.5% in the year 2015. There were no overall differences based on insurance or sex coverage, but children with health problem were more likely to have the infections. Over the study year, the number of discharges with Enterobacteriaceae-associated infections remained stable.
The study reveals that in unending previous findings, the infections were mostly picked up in the hospital, and more than 75% of the antibiotic-resistant infections were already present when the young people were admitted to the hospital. This suggests that older children and those living in the western U.S. were more likely to have the infections, and resistant bacteria are now more widespread in many communities.
There was a greater significant risk of death among paediatric patients that were infected by resistant-bacteria strains, and investigators reveal that young people with antibiotic-resistance infections stayed in the hospital 20% longer than people whose infections could be addressed using antibiotics.
Previous research shows that with 11.4% global rate of antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections among youth, including 2.6% in Europe, 8.8% in Latin America, and 27% in Asia and the Pacific, means the problem is worse elsewhere in the world.
Meropol says escalating antibiotic resistance worsens clinical results, limits treatment options, and grows the public health crisis. We need to stop over-using antibiotic in animals and humans and develop new antibacterial drugs, especially ones appropriate for children if we want to put an end to the problem.