Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The balance shifts

29.05.2008
Antibiotics accompanying surgery prevent some infections but increasingly cause another

The risk of contracting a Clostridium difficile infection following operations for which a "prophylactic" antibiotic is given to prevent infection is 21 times greater now than it was just a decade ago, according to researchers from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada. They report their findings in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, currently available online.

Surgical operations that have been associated with severe infections, such as open heart surgeries and prosthetic implants, are often accompanied by the simultaneous administration of antibiotics, a strategy which has successfully reduced the number of infections. A consequence of this antimicrobial therapy is a modification in normal flora of the human intestine. In this altered environment, a bacterium named Clostridium difficile can thrive. An infection with C. difficile can cause severe diarrhea, occasionally leading to death.

Historically, the benefits of preventing surgical site infections have outweighed the relatively minor risk of C. difficile infections. However, in 2000 a hypervirulent strain of C. difficile emerged, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of infections and in the severity of those infections.

Researchers from the University of Sherbrooke recently completed a study that calculated the risk of contracting a C. difficile infection when the sole antibiotic given was prophylaxis accompanying surgery and compared the current risk with the risk from a period before the emergence of the hypervirulent strain. They found a 21-fold increase in the risk, from 0.07 percent of patients to 1.5 percent. Of the 40 patients who developed a C. difficile infection after peri-operative antibiotic prophylaxis, 5 either died or developed septic shock. Cefoxitin was most likely to be associated with the contraction of a C. difficile infection.

Because the outcomes of C. difficile infections can be severe, the authors suggested that cases be individually evaluated and if the purpose of the antibiotic therapy is only to prevent infrequent or relatively benign infections, then the risks may outweigh benefits. This may be particularly important with elderly patients, who fare worse with C. difficile infections than do younger people.

In addition, the study’s lead author, Louis Valiquette, MD, MSc, suggested that surgical antibiotic prophylaxis should be used for the shortest duration possible to minimize the risk of C. difficile infection. This would also produce collateral benefits of decreasing cost, reducing microbial-related side effects, and slowing the development of bacterial resistance.

Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>