According to the Department of Health and Human Services news release, a new “superbug” is getting into children causing major ear infections that can only be treated by multiple adult antibiotics.
The report done by two Rochester, New York, pediatricians found that a multiple antibiotic resistant strain of “Streptococcus pneumoniae” that has caused ear infections in nine children in their practices over the last three years. The only medication that actually killed the bacteria was a drug called levofloxacin which is not approved by the FDA for use in children.
Dr. Michael Pichichero, a professor of microbiology, immunology and pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who completed the study with his colleagues, did see over 1,800 children with ear infections. Out of those 1,800 children, 212 of them had ear taps which help to drain liquid from behind the ear drum. When this procedure is done, the child is given a local anesthetic so that pain is not felt. By using this particular procedure, the researchers had found that 59 of those 212 patients did have ear infections that were caused by the streptococcus pneumoniae. A specific strain, dubbed the “legacy” strain by doctors was found to only infect nine of those 1,800 children. This finding is only 1.5 percent of their entire practice.
Luckily in these nine specific cases who were very close to losing their hearing, Pichichero knew exactly how much medication to administer to the children since he had studied the use of the levofloxacin in children in a previous study.
Pichichero who prepared a statement regarding the new findings states “We found a superbug causing ear infections in Rochester — the Legacy strain — that’s resistant to all antibiotics approved by the FDA for use in children,”. he also went on to say, the “FDA has put significant barriers for the use of the antibiotics in children.”
To read the complete study to be published October 17, go to The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Streptococcus pneumoniae can include ear infections, sinus infections, pneumonia, meningitis, as well as blood stream infections. Young children are the ones who usually get the pneumococcal infections more often than others and they can be potentially life threatening. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 3 million ear infections are caused by the pneumococcal infections and only 4,500 of those illnesses are serious forms of the disease.
SOURCE : Ear Infections Linked to Drug-Resistant ‘Superbug’
SOURCE : The Journal of the American Medical Association