Tag: antibiotic resistance

Bacteria or Virus? Express Yourself!

Bacteria or Virus? Express Yourself!

As this year’s flu and cold season wanes down a bit, I found it heartening to read that science is focusing on a way to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections to help limit over-prescribing of antibiotics. Over the last decades doctors have been far too willing to offer a sad and miserable patient antibiotics, resulting in killing off many…

Childhood Obesity Linked to Early and Frequent Antibiotic Use

Antibiotic overuse during childhood is rampant. Most physicians, often at the parent’s urging, will prescribe an antibiotic for colds, flu, and ear infections even though antibiotic prescription is not indicated in such cases. Antibiotics are unnecessary for these common childhood ailments, and their overuse has far-reaching negative effects. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical…

Antibiotic Resistance—A Call for Global Response

A new report published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal warns that “we are at the dawn of a post-antibiotic era,” with “almost all disease-causing bacteria resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat them.”1 The gravity of the problem was summed up in a commentary on the report: “Rarely has modern medicine faced such a grave threat. Without antibiotics,…

Gut Microbes in Children Carry Numerous Antibiotic Resistance Genes

The microbes inside digestive tracts of healthy children have many antibiotic resistance genes, according to a recent study published in the Public Library of Sciences ONE journal. These genes may place the children at higher risk of developing resistance to antibiotic treatments. “From birth to age 5, children receive more antibiotics than during any other five-year time span in their…

Antibiotic Resistance One of Our Most Serious Health Threats

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released their first-ever report on antibiotic resistance: Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013. In it, CDC director Tom Frieden states that, “antimicrobial resistance is one of our most serious health threats. Infections from resistant bacteria are now too common.” The CDC estimates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are the cause…

Antibiotics Overprescribed for Sore Throats and Bronchitis

As we gear up for the winter season we are reminded of the usual increase in cold and flu that runs through our communities, work places, and schools. Along with more sniffles and coughs come more visits to the doctor and, unfortunately, more prescriptions for antibiotics—often at the urging of the patient. But cold and flu are viruses, which are…

Antibiotics Not Always Needed for Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection with over 8 million visits to health care providers each year. Women are affected more often than men, simply due to anatomy. The treatment for UTIs is antibiotic medication, which is well known for modifying the beneficial flora that reside in the digestive tract and urogenital tract. Furthermore,…

Did You Take Antibiotics for a Cough this Season?

This past winter I noticed a lot of people were sick with a cold, flu, or cough (or a combination). Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that a lot of people take antibiotics unnecessarily for such illnesses. I’d like to share an interesting study that will hopefully help educate us on this important topic. The Annals of Family Medicine journal…