Childhood antibiotics linked to MRSA7th April 2010
UK researchers have found that the considerable rise in prescriptions for child skin conditions could be connected with an increase in hospital admissions and GP visits for MRSA infections.
The team examined information from primary care trusts in the UK and found that GP prescriptions for anti-Staphylococcal infections had increased by 64% over a decade.
Over the same ten year period, GP visits for skin infections increased by 19% and hospital admissions for Staphylococcal aureus went up by 49%.
Researchers looked at data from a file of 500 GPs who contributed information on over a million patients from 1997-2006. They also performed a count of prescriptions for drugs given by GPs for skin infections.
The number of GP consultations for all childhood skin conditions in children increased between 1997-2006, from 128.5 per 1,000 child-years to 152.9 per 1,000 child-years – a 19% rise.
During the same time period there was a 64% rise in prescription rates for flucloxacillin, from 17.8 to 29.1 per 1,000 child-years.
Head researcher Dr Sonia Saxena, consultant senior lecturer in primary care and a GP in Putney, London, said: "The increasing incidence of childhood skin infections and prescribing of the major antistaphylococcal drug flucloxacillin, coupled with concurrent increases in childhood hospital admissions for skin, bone and joint infections caused by S. aureus, suggests an increase in community-onset S.aureus disease in England over the past ten years."
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