Well­ness Arti­cles

Antibi­otics Linked to Bac­te­ria Resis­tance

A new study pub­lished in the Feb­ru­ary 10, 2007 issue of the pres­ti­gious British sci­en­tific jour­nal The Lancet, shows a direct and defin­i­tive link between antibi­otic usage and increased resis­tance of bac­te­ria to antibi­otics. Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have shown a rela­tion­ship, but this new study has shown a direct cause and effect between the usage of antibi­otics and an increase in bacteria’s abil­ity to resist these drugs.

In a Health Day News arti­cle, Dr. Her­man Goossens, lead author of the report in The Lancet, com­mented, “A lot of stud­ies have shown an asso­ci­a­tion between antibi­otic use and resis­tance, but all those stud­ies are based on indi­rect evi­dence. There have been no ran­dom­ized, placebo-​controlled, double-​blind stud­ies. Ours is the first study to show directly that antibi­otic use leads to resis­tance.” The study was per­formed at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal Antwerp in Belgium.

The study was per­formed on more than 200 healthy vol­un­teers and com­pared two types of antibi­otics against a placebo pill. Researchers took sev­eral sam­ples of bac­te­ria from the vol­un­teers both before as well as up to six months after giv­ing them antibi­otics to see if they had devel­oped any resis­tance to the drugs.

The results showed that both groups tak­ing real antibi­otics showed a bac­te­r­ial resis­tance increase from 50 to 53 per­cent within 4 to 8 days. This was com­pared to the placebo group that showed no increase in bac­te­r­ial resis­tance to antibi­otics in the same timeframe.

Dr. Stephanie Dancer, a con­sul­tant micro­bi­ol­o­gist at South­ern Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Glas­gow, Scot­land , noted her con­cern that was ver­i­fied by this study, “I do feel very, very strongly, as my col­leagues do, that we are run­ning out of [effec­tive] antibi­otics,” Dancer said. “This study is so nice, because it gives con­crete evi­dence under­pin­ning every­thing we have suspected.”

The authors of the Lancet study con­cluded, “Physi­cians pre­scrib­ing antibi­otics should take into account the strik­ing eco­log­i­cal side-​effects of such antibiotics.”

Ran­dom Article

Reuters Health of July 31, 2002 posted an arti­cle report­ing on the results of a study con­ducted at the Telethon Insti­tute for Child Health

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