New York, July 17 (IANS) A new study has found that the antibiotic azithromycin was no more effective than a placebo in preventing symptoms of Covid-19 among non-hospitalised patients.The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also indicated that it might increase their chance of hospitalisation, despite widespread prescription of the antibiotic for the disease."These findings do not support the routine use of azithromycin for outpatient SARS-CoV-2 infection," said lead author Catherine E. Olde burg from the University of California at San Francisco.Azithromycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, is widely prescribed as a treatment for COVID-19 in the US and the rest of the world."The hypothesis is that it has anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent progression if treated early in the disease," said Oldenburg, adding that they did not find this to be the case.The study included 263 participants who all tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within seven days before entering the study.None were hospitalised at the time of enrollment. In a random selection process, 171 participants received a single, 1.2-gram oral dose of azithromycin and 92 received an identical placebo.On day 14 of the study, 50 per cent of the participants remained symptom-free in both groups. By day 21, five of the participants who received azithromycin had been hospitalised with severe symptoms of Covid-19 and none of the placebo group had been hospitalised.The researchers concluded that treatment with a single dose of azithromycin compared to placebo did not result in a greater likelihood of being symptom-free."Most of the trials done so far with azithromycin have focused on hospitalized patients with pretty severe disease," said Oldenburg.--IANSvc/skp/
Tokyo, Water-jet nozzles in electric toilets may be reservoirs for multidrug-resistant superbugs, increasing the risk of dangerous germ transmission among people, according to a new research.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa or P aeruginosa naturally occurs in soil and freshwater, but it can also thrive on moist surfaces, leading to opportunistic infections in weakened and ill patients that could develop into life-threatening conditions like pneumonia or sepsis.
Because of the overuse of antibiotics, these bacteria have evolved the ability to withstand attempts to treat infections with drugs that once killed them. And infections caused by multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MDRP) bacteria are becoming more common in both the community and hospitals. Mortality rates among people infected with these superbug strains are double those of people infected with strains that are susceptible to treatment.
"Our findings imply that multidrug-resistant P aeruginosa bacteria were being transmitted within the patient community, and critically that the infection may be spread within hospitals via contaminated electric toilet nozzles," said lead researcher Dr Itaru Nakamura from Tokyo Medical University Hospital in Japan.
"With good hospital hygiene, which includes handwashing and environmental cleaning, we can control the spread of these pathogens, especially within settings where patients' immune systems are compromised," Nakamura added.
In this study, the team investigated the presence of multidrug-resistant bacteria recovered from the waterjet-nozzles of electric toilets in a haematology ward of Tokyo Medical University Hospital between September 2020 and January 2021.
The team made more than 10 visits to take samples from water-jet nozzles in electric toilets used by three patients with MDRP infections, including two patients with severe sepsis. MDRP strains were defined as those with resistance to at least two antibiotics such as imipenem, meropenem, amikacin and ciprofloxacin.
Using genetic fingerprinting techniques, they looked to see whether the strains of MDRP from the three infected patients were the same as the environmental MDRP strain sampled from the toilet nozzles. They found the samples matched, with strain 'ST235' dominating in all the samples -- suggesting that transfers to and from patients were happening.
The findings were presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases held online this year. (IANS)
London, July 11 (IANS) The dangerous mcr-1 gene, which provides resistance to the last-resort antibiotic colistin, has been found in four healthy humans and two pet dogs, according to new research, which found that the gene can be transmitted between dogs and their owners.
The study raises concerns that pets can act as reservoirs of the gene and so aid the spread of resistance to precious last-line antibiotics, said researchers from the University of Lisbon.
They found two cases, in which both dog and owner were harbouring the gene.
The mcr-1 gene, first reported in China in 2015, confers resistance to colistin -- an antibiotic of last resort used to treat infections from some bacteria resistant to all other antibiotics. If mcr-1 combines with already drug-resistant bacteria, it can create a truly untreatable infection, the researchers said.
"Colistin is used when all other antibiotics have failed -- it is a crucial treatment of last resort. If bacteria resistant to all drugs acquire this resistance gene, they would become untreatable, and that's a scenario we must avoid at all costs," said Juliana Menezes from the varsity's Centre of Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
"We know that the overuse of antibiotics drives resistance and it is vital that they are used responsibly, not just in medicine but also in veterinary medicine and in farming," Menezes added.
For the study, the team looked for resistance to colistin in bacteria in faecal samples from people and pets.
Samples were taken from 126 healthy people living with 102 cats and dogs in 80 households in Lisbon between February 2018 and February 2020. All of the humans and 61 of the pets were healthy. A total of 23 pets had skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) and 18 had urinary tract infections (UTI).
Eight dogs out of the 102 pets (7.8 per cent) and four humans out of 126 (3.2 per cent) harboured bacteria with the mcr-1 gene. Three of the dogs were healthy, four had SSTIs and one had a UTI. None of the cats were carrying the gene. Further analysis showed that the bacteria isolated from all 12 samples that were mcr-1 positive were resistant to multiple antibiotics.
In two households with dogs with SSTIs, the mcr-1 gene was found in both dog and owner. Genetic analysis of the samples suggested that in one of these two cases, the gene had been transmitted between pet and owner.
While transmission in both directions is possible, it is thought that in this case, the gene passed from dog to human, Menezes said.
The owners did not have infections and so did not need treatment. The sick dogs were successfully treated.
The study was presented at the ongoing European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) taking place online between July 9 and 12.
Amaravati- The Andhra Pradesh government has seized some stocks of antibiotic medicines which were not manufactured up to the standard required.
"These are not fake medicines but medicines which were not manufactured up to the standard," AP Drugs Control Administration Director General S. Ravi Shankar Narayan told IANS.
DCA has seized different strengths and combinations of substandard manufactured antibiotic Azithromycin from Rajahmundry, Bhimavaram and Vijayawada.
"It is not of the standard quality in the sense that it doesn't comply with the label claim. Composition is not as per the claims," said Narayan.
According to him, the DCA is currently engaged in tracing back the medicine to the dealers with an aim to ultimately reach the manufacturer.
"Once we come to know of the manufacturer and get hold of him, we will be recording his statement and then filing a complaint," he said.
Finding the actual manufacturer is a step by step backward process which, Narayan said, will take some effort and time.
He said DCA directly cannot straightaway go to the manufacturer on the label of the medicine as the label itself can be fake.
"Suppose if a company has directly made it and sold it, I will be reaching the original company. If somebody else in between has manufactured and sold it, we will be stopping in the middle and holding him responsible," noted Narayan.
Meanwhile, all the stocks of the faulty antibiotic existing with the distributors and retailers have been recalled, and seized and the court intimated.
Narayan, a senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, said the retailing pharmaceutical outlets have been issued showcase notices as to why due diligence was not done by them while procuring these stocks of Azithromycin.
Meanwhile, the DCA dispatched two teams of officials to Uttarakhand in search of some dealers, even as the manufacturer's address has been traced to the northern state. (IANS)
New York- The overuse of antibiotics occurs due to the mistaken widespread belief that they are beneficial for a broad array of conditions and because many physicians are willing to prescribe antibiotics if patients ask for the medication, a new study suggests.
In children, improper antibiotic use can alter the microbiome while their immunological, metabolic and neural systems are developing, suggests the study published in the journal BioEssays.
And, in adults, there is increasing evidence that antibiotics may enhance risk for metabolic and neoplastic diseases, including diabetes, kidney stones and growths in the colon and rectum that can lead to cancer.
The global use of antibiotics between 2000 and 2015 increased 39 per cent, with a 77 per cent increase in low- and middle-income countries, said lead author Martin Blaser from the Rutgers University in the US.
Antibiotic overuse is when antibiotics are used when they are not needed. Antibiotics are one of the great advances in medicine. But overprescribing them has led to resistant bacteria that are harder to treat.
For the study, the research team reviewed more than 200 peer-reviewed studies to examine the causes behind antibiotic overuse, which can lead harmful bacteria to become drug-resistant and cause harmful effects on the microbiome, the collection of beneficial germs that live in and on our bodies.
Studies in the US, UK and China found numerous online pharmacies selling antibiotics without a prescription. This is also a major problem in Iow- to middle-income countries, where 60 per cent of antibiotics are sold without prescription, often by untrained medical practitioners.
The researchers said that clinicians need to be better educated about the long-term effects on the microbiome and learn about better ways to speak with their patients about antibiotic risks and benefits.
They also need to improve their communication about the consequences of antibiotic treatment and identify alternatives. (IANS)
Jerusalem, Jan 27 (IANS) Exposure to antibiotics in the initial days of life is associated with reduced weight and height in boys, a new study suggests.The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, indicates that antibiotic treatment within 14 days of birth may lead to reduced weight and height in boys -- but not girls -- up to the age of six."Antibiotics are vitally important and life-saving medications in newborn infants. Our results suggest that their use may also have unwanted long-term consequences which need to be considered," said researcher Omry Koren, Professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.For the study, the team investigated the impact of neonatal antibiotic exposure in a cohort of 12,422 children born between 2008-2010.The babies had no genetic abnormalities or significant chronic disorders affecting growth and did not need long-term antibiotic treatment.Antibiotics had been administered within the first 14 days of life to 1,151 (9.3 per cent) of the neonates in the study.The authors found that boys exposed to antibiotic treatment exhibited significantly lower weight as compared to non-exposed children throughout the first six years.They also exhibited significantly lower height and BMI between the ages of two and six. This observation was replicated in a German cohort.Further, antibiotic exposure during the first days of life was found to be associated with disturbances in the gut microbiome up until the age of two, the researchers said.Infants exposed to neonatal antibiotics exhibited significantly lower gut microbiome richness as compared to non-exposed infants at the age of one month, they added.Interestingly, at the age of six months, the infants treated with antibiotics reached the bacterial richness level of a control group of infants, and at the ages of 12 and 24 months, the antibiotic-treated subjects gained significantly higher levels of bacterial richness as compared to the control subjects.--IANSvc/dpb