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Antibiotic-resistant germs spread more and more
Antibiotics are still considered a general-purpose weapon against bacterial infections. Children, especially children, are often prescribed the medication by doctors. On the occasion of the European Antibiotics Day on November 18, experts point out that there are also dangers involved. Antibiotic-resistant germs are spreading more and more. While a few years ago the focus was primarily on gram-positive pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), gram-negative multidrug-resistant infectious agents have now become a problem that, in addition to other groups of antibiotics, also against all ß-lactam antibiotics Resistance has developed, as reported by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
Antibiotics are prescribed particularly often in kindergarten age. Physicians are increasingly called upon to be more cautious when prescribing antibiotics. According to experts, broad-spectrum antibiotics are very often prescribed in hospitals and doctor's offices that are effective against a large number of pathogens, although basic antibiotics would also have been sufficient in many cases. Broad-spectrum antibiotics promote the development of resistance of many pathogens at the same time.
According to a representative Forsa survey commissioned by the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit, most antibiotics are prescribed to children of kindergarten age. 41 percent of four to six year olds received antibiotics last year. For comparison: in the total age group from 0 to 18 years, this was only true for just under 30 percent. According to the survey, 37 percent of four- to six-year-olds were prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis, 29 percent for otitis media and 27 percent for influenza infections (colds). However, according to experts, antibiotics are only indicated for these complaints in exceptional cases. Parents' attitudes may also play a role. According to the online edition of the "Ärzte Zeitung", it is normal for children to go through up to ten infections a year and that they will usually survive within a few days without complications. An antibiotic is then not necessary.
New antibiotics against resistant germs Pharmaceutical companies continue to research new antibiotics, which ideally are also effective against multi-resistant germs. This year, four agents were brought onto the market, as the Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (vfa) informed: two antibiotics against the hospital germ MRSA and two against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Three other preparations are already in the approval process and 15 more are in phase III studies.
"However, new antibiotics cannot be supplied at will," explains vfa chief executive Birgit Fischer. "It is therefore equally important to avoid the formation and spread of further resistance as much as possible. However, this requires the cooperation of many actors, including doctors, basic researchers, Pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies and politics. "
Pharmacies clarify the correct use of antibiotics The ABDA - Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations points out on the occasion of the Antibiotics Day how important it is to take antibiotics correctly. “Resistance can be avoided by using antibiotics responsibly. Each patient is responsible for ensuring that antibiotics remain effective, ”explains Karin Graf, member of the ABDA executive board. "The pharmacies therefore explain how to use antibiotics correctly."
According to the main association, patients should only take antibiotics according to a doctor's prescription and strictly follow the doctor's instructions regarding the dosage and duration of therapy. “Antibiotics should be disposed of with household waste, but not in the toilet or sink. The disposal of antibiotics via wastewater spreads the substances into the environment and thus promotes the development of resistance, ”says an ABDA statement. In some pharmacies, drug residues can also be disposed of free of charge. (ag)
Image: Wilhelmine Wulff / pixelio.de