Up to half of samples of urinary tract infections in children are resistant to common antibiotics, new research has shown.
The analysis found high levels of antibiotic resistance in infections caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Antimicrobial resistance is as big a risk to global public health as terrorism, Dame Sally Davies, the UK Chief Medical Officer has said. Without urgent action routine operations such as hip replacements could become life threatening, cancer treatment would be impossible and organ transplants too risky, it has been warned.
NICE has a range of guidelines aimed at tackling inappropriate use of antibiotics, including in children.
Researchers from the University of Bristol and Imperial College London investigated antibiotic resistance in urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) .
In other developed countries, a third of samples were resistant to co-trimoxazole and a quarter were resistant to trimethoprim – two other commonly used antibiotics.
In developing countries, resistance was even higher, probably due to the availability of antibiotics over-the-counter, the authors said.
They wrote in the research paper: “Primary care clinicians should consider the impact of any antibiotic use on subsequent antimicrobial resistance and avoid their unnecessary use by following local and national guidance whenever possible.”
In an accompanying editorial, Professor Grant Russell at Monash University in Australia, said: “The findings have important implications for the management of paediatric urinary tract infection in primary care and for clinical decisions that have remained largely unchanged since the 1990s.
“While I have no doubt that clinical practice guidelines will quickly be able to accommodate the findings, I am less confident that there is the will and commitment to deal with what the World Health Organisation has called ‘the post-antibiotic era’.”
Please visit the NICE Website for advice on tackling antibiotic use