Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dramatic surge seen in kids hospitalized with MRSA

Another example of ignoring the fluorescent orange elephant.
We have been warned for years that over-use of antibiotics is leading to increased drug resistance in bacteria. But it goes on. Eventually, we will run out of effective antibiotics before we find replacements.;_ylt=ApviFytvpYBquqf0FP0SNges0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFkYmFjamtlBHBvcwMxNDkEc2VjA2FjY29yZGlvbl9oZWFsdGgEc2xrA2RyYW1hdGljc3VyZw--

By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner, Ap Medical Writer – Mon May 17, 3:15 am ET

CHICAGO – The number of children hospitalized with dangerous drug-resistant staph infections surged 10-fold in recent years, a study found.

Disease incidence increased from 2 cases to 21 cases per 1,000 hospital admissions from 1999 to 2008. Most infections were caught in the community, not in the hospital.

The study involved methicillin-resistant staph infections, called MRSA. These used to occur mostly in hospitals and nursing homes but they are increasingly showing up in other settings in children and adults. Recent evidence suggests hospital-acquired MRSA cases may be declining while community-acquired cases are becoming more common.

The results are "a good example of how something that is not unexpected remains alarming," said Dr. Buddy Creech, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University. He was not involved in the study.

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The study also found a coinciding increase in use of clindamycin, an antibiotic that comes in easy-to-use pills and liquid, and smaller increases for two other antibiotics. Another drug effective against MRSA, vancomycin, is only available intravenously and its use decreased during the study.

Newland said the increasing use of clindamycin is concerning because in some regions MRSA is already becoming resistant to the drug. Doctors need to use the antibiotic judiciously, he said.

Dr. Kenneth Alexander, the University of Chicago's pediatric infectious disease chief, said he agrees.

"Staph are incredibly cagey, and will ultimately find their way around any antibiotic in use," he said.

Research is needed to find other drugs that will work against MRSA, he said.


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