Saturday, December 1, 2012

Antibiotic Resistance: Effect of Length of Therapy

Here is a nice blog piece over at PLOS that provides a nice commentary on the problem of antibiotic resistance in people, and discusses the possible relationship of duration of antibiotic therapy and the emergence of resistance. 

In terms of antibiotic therapy length, this is dependent on the condition (e.g., pneumonia, urinary tract infection, et cetera), person-specific factors (does the infection involve the bladder only? does it involve the kidneys? are there bacteria in the blood?) as well as the specific infecting bacteria. A physician needs to take all of these factors into account when recommending an antibiotic treatment course. 

What is clear is that clinicians should follow consensus guidelines when determining length of therapy for a given patient, that non-bacterial infections should not be treated with antibiotics, and that more studies are needed to assess the optimal length of therapy for many bacterial infections.  

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