The antibiotics for the therapy common infections in children and infants are no longer effective in many parts of the world, due to high rates resilience in them, as found a study led by the University of Sydney published in the journal “Lancet South East Asia”.
The study found that many antibiotics recommended by the World Health Organization had less than 50% efficiency in the treatment of childhood infections such as pneumonia, sepsis (blood stream infections) and meningitis.
The findings show that the global Guidelines for the use of antibiotics is outdated and need updating.
The worst-hit areas are in south-east Asia and the Pacific, including Indonesia and the Philippines, where antibiotic resistance causes thousands of needless child deaths each year.
In fact, in the study it was found that a specific antibiotic, h ceftriaxoneis likely to be effective in treatment only one in three cases of sepsis or meningitis in newborn babies. Ceftriaxone is also widely used in Australia to treat many infections in children, such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
Another antibiotic, h gentamicinwas found to be likely effective in treating less than half of the cases of sepsis and meningitis in children.
The World Health Organization has stated that the antimicrobial resistance is one of the ten largest worldwide threats to public health facing humanity. In newborns, an estimated three million cases of sepsis occur worldwide each year with up to 570,000 deaths, in many cases due to the lack of effective antibiotics to treat resistant bacteria.
Lead study author Phoebe Williams, from the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health and the Institute of Infectious Diseases, an infectious disease specialist, says the best way to tackle antibiotic resistance in childhood infections is to make it a priority funding to investigate new antibiotic treatments for children and newborns.