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Too many antibiotics for urinary tract infections

pte20190813014 Medicine / wellness, research / technology

University of Leeds researchers are calling for a quick test to avoid resistance

Laboratory: better tests needed for urinary tract infection (Photo: Gapa)

Laboratory: better tests needed for urinary tract infection (Photo: Gapa)

Leeds (pte014 / 13.08.2019 / 10: 30) – According to a study by the University of Leeds, doctors urgently need an accurate and rapid test to diagnose urinary tract infections. This would reduce the over-prescription of antibiotics. Without such a test, according to study leader Mar Pujades Rodriguez, there is a risk of prescribing unnecessary antibiotics, which in turn increases the risk of antibacterial resistance. The test strips currently in use do not provide accurate laboratory test results and estimates and take two to three days.

Regulations are problematic

The researchers analyzed nearly 500,000 disorders in England that were treated between 2011 and 2015. The records come from 390 practitioner practices. In less than one in five patients treated for urinary tract infection, urine has been tested in the laboratory. These tests were more common in men than in women or in those who returned for other treatment. Therefore, according to experts, these tests have little effect on antibiotic prescribing.

In addition, one out of every five patients treated for the second time was found to be again the same antibiotic. This is not in line with current recommendations and may increase the likelihood of resistance. Most patients were treated with antibiotics. Four percent had to go to the doctor again because there was no improvement. Of these 17,000 patients, only 80 percent received an antibiotic different from the first treatment.

Antibiotic resistance

It is worrying, according to the researchers, that the percentage of men who did not help the first treatment increased by 20 percent over the observation period. In 2011, it was 5.2 percent. In 2011, that value was already 6.2 percent. Patients who have recently been prescribed antibiotics are more likely to require further treatment for urinary tract infection. Patients who have taken antibiotics in the last three to six months are 37 percent more likely to get them.

In comparison, patients who have not taken such medication in the last year have been advised. Patients receiving antibiotics for one to three months were almost twice as likely to need other treatment. If taken in the last month, the likelihood has increased more than tripled. According to the researchers, all these results suggest that antibiotic resistance was the cause of treatment failure. The research results were published in "EClinicalMedicine".

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