Chased by an antibiotic-induced C difficile-shaped shadow

shadow-abx

A fascinating new JAMA Internal Medicine study suggests that being admitted to a room when the prior occupant had taken antibiotics increases the risk of the subsequent occupant of the same room developing C. difficile infection (CDI). Quite a few convincing epi studies have showed that admission to a room when the prior occupant was known to have a number of key pathogens (including C. difficile) increased the chance of acquisition for the subsequent occupant. But this study extends the ‘prior room occupancy’ concept into a new dimension!

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Trends in US antibiotic use: we’re creating a monster!

Always great to see infection-related data in the top medical journals, like the recent overview of antibiotic use in the US published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine. There’s good news and bad news in the article: overall use of antibiotics in data from 300 US hospitals did not increase between 2006 and 2012. However, the use of key broad spectrum agents did increase significantly, including the carbapenems. I am sure that many of these uses of ‘top shelf’ agents is indicated by the resistance patterns of the organisms being treated, but the net effect is perpetuating the antibiotic-resistant monster! Continue reading

Antimicrobials, anti-infectives or antibiotics?

antimicrobial terminology

I am currently reading ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Dr Jonathan Grant and Professor Mike Catchpole (yes, I know I’m several years late to this particular party). I might do a book review for the blog once I’ve finished it – but an interesting question emerged in the early chapters. The author seem to make a point of referring to ‘antimicrobials’ rather than ‘antibiotics’ in the early part of the book, but later on, antibiotics appears as a common term. Which got me to thinking about what is the most appropriate generic term for what most people would term ‘antibiotics’ (what your GP gives you when you’ve got a snuffle, I mean potentially serious bacterial infection)?

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