1 antibiotic course could create resistance in children, study finds

A single course of antibiotics could increase antibiotic resistance in children, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

 To conduct the study, researchers studied families with at least two children ages 6-59 months in two rural communities in Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa. Researchers randomly assigned 124 children to receive either amoxicillin, azithromycin, cotrimoxazole or a placebo in July 2017.

Rectal samples taken five days after a child's last antibiotic treatment found azithromycin made children twice as likely to have genetic resistant determinants to macrolide antibiotics, suggesting azithromycin could cause more drastic changes in the gut microbiome than other antibiotics. All antibiotics increased resistance determinants to sulfanomide antibiotics compared with the placebo.

Researchers cautioned that higher numbers of resistance genes do not necessarily create functional resistance, according to Healio.

"Whether this eventually translates to infections that are more difficult to treat is unknown," Catherine E. Oldenburg, PhD, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told the publication.

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