Dangerous Drug-Resistant Infection Increasing Among Children: Study
Infections caused by a relatively new kind of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have increased by about 700 percent among children in the United States over the last decade, according to the findings of new research.
In a study published last week in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, researchers indicate that multidrug-resistant Gram-negative enteric (MDR-GNE) Enterobacteriaceae, which is an especially hard to treat type of infection, is increasingly being found outside of the hospital among children.
Researchers examined data from 48 children’s hospitals maintained by the Pediatric Health Information System. They focused on the proportion of children aged 0 to 18 who were diagnosed with multidrug-resistant Gram-negative enteric (MDR-GNE) Enterobacteriaceae between January 1, 2007, and March 31, 2015. The data included more than 107,000 discharges for the drug-resistant infection. More than 700 were MDR-GNE infections, a strain of Enterobacteriaceae that has become resistant to multiple types of antibiotics used to treat the infection.
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The proportion of MDR-GNE infections increased from 0.2 percent in 2007, to 1.5 percent over the study period, an increase of 700 percent over eight years.
Most of the infections had developed before the patients were admitted to the hospital, indicating infection within the community. At one time MDR-GNE was only found in the hospital setting. Now it is found commonly in the community and is the toughest infection to treat.
Only about one-quarter of the infections were acquired in the hospital. An estimated 1 in 7 hospital acquired infections are antibiotic resistant.
Patients who were older and were being treated for another illness had higher odds of becoming infected with MDR-GNE. Patients with MDR-GNE had hospital stays that were 20 percent longer on average. They also had an increased risk for death over other patients infected with the non-drug resistant form of Enterobacteriaceae.
Researchers said MDR-GNE threatens doctor’s ability to treat children effectively, considering the infection is so difficult to treat and control.
Research commissioned by the British government indicates that more than 10 million deaths each year will be attributable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria by the year 2050 unless drastic measure are taken.
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