Is it true that I have to finish my antibiotic treatment as prescribed?

Schermafbeelding 2015-11-21 om 15.01.52

It is always the same. If I think that I had a reasonable idea and put it on-line, it will only take a day or two, until friends and colleagues let me know, that others had the same idea – just earlier. In this case, John Ferguson (@mdjkf), brought to my attention, that Professor Lyn Gilbert started the same discussion in Australia (Link). As always, I am depressed for about 5 seconds and start to come up with a new, old idea.

Despite the discussion in Down-under, I have promised to post the results of my questionnaire. On Twitter, some were surprised how little evidence exists to support antibiotic prescribing dogmas (Eli Perencevich, @eliowa), whereas others like Christina Vandenbroucke-Grauls (@ChristinaGrauls) believe that we have plenty of evidence from lab experiments and theory to answer the question. Most importantly, “every bit of antibiotic leads to resistance”.

Continue reading

The 30-Second-Questionnaire: Antibiotic Myth Buster

Schermafbeelding 2015-11-13 om 11.53.54

Here we are again, the year flew by and it’s time for Antibiotic Awareness Day/Week. This time around, I will spend my time in a call-center, answering questions of concerned citizens/ex-patients in Germany. Smart idea of a friend in the German public health service and probably smarter than doing what we usually do: organize a meeting, ask all our colleagues to come, and preach to our own community.

While I believe that there is no ID or Clin Micro person left that is not convinced of the importance of saving our miracle drugs (Australian campaign), I know that I will get questions I can’t answer, or at least, don’t know if my answers are truly true.

Here it goes, my antibiotic conundrum that could  be classified as “Antibiotic Myth”:

Is it true that I have to finish my antibiotic treatment as prescribed?

Will “too short” lead to antimicrobial resistance, or is it the “too long”? My guess, 99% of the professionals will answer this question by releasing an avalanche of questions, regarding the bug, the host and the site of infection, but I have to insist on a simple “yes” or “no”. Sorry, but those are the rules of the “30-Second-Questionnaire” and you can’t argue the rules.

Thus here is my request. Follow the link to the questionnaire, take 30 seconds to answer the question (and 4 others) and email, twitter, blog or use any kind of communication you can think of to forward it to your friends and family. I promise, I will post the outcome right here, a week or two later.


UK guidelines for the control of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria

amr wiki

The UK guidelines for the prevention and control of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) are published this week. It’s useful that the publication of these guidelines coincides with Antibiotic Awareness Week because MDR-GNB are brining us ever closer to the end of antibiotics. Although the guidelines don’t cover the treatment of MDR-GNB (this will be addressed in a forthcoming guideline), these highly resistant MDR-GNB leave few therapeutic options. Even when they remain susceptible to some antibiotics, these antibiotics are not front-line antibiotics for a reason (including poor tissue penetration and side effects). Furthermore, we are already seeing resistance to last-line (aka end of the golden-antibiotic-road) antibiotics e.g. colistin. Therefore, the old adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’ has never been so true!

Continue reading