Shortened antimicrobial treatment inferior to standard regimen for middle ear infections, study finds

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

A five-day antimicrobial treatment regimen for middle ear infections in young children is inferior to the standard 10-day regimen, according to newly published research in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Middle ear infections (or "acute otitis media") are common childhood illnesses often caused by bacteria and usually treated with antibiotics. However, overuse or inappropriate use of antibiotics (for example, to treat viral infections of the middle ear) can accelerate the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. In the NEJM study, scientists from the University of Pittsburgh examined whether a shortened regimen worked as well as the standard 10-day treatment course for middle ear infection and also whether a shortened regimen reduced the risk of antimicrobial resistance. The research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The trial enrolled 520 children aged 6-23 months diagnosed with middle ear infection using strict diagnostic criteria. Investigators randomly assigned the children to receive the antibiotic amoxicillin clavulanate for either 10 days or five days. Those in the five-day group then took a placebo for five additional days. The study was double-blind, meaning the researchers, clinicians and the children's caregivers did not know which regimen each child was assigned. Investigators monitored the children's symptoms and signs of infection during treatment and at follow-up visits after treatment ended.

The study found that 77 of 229 participants (34 percent) in the five-day treatment group experienced clinical failure, or a worsening of symptoms and signs of infection, as compared to 39 of 238 participants (16 percent) in the 10-day treatment group. Following treatment, researchers also examined bacteria samples from the children's nose and throat cavities to study the presence of resistant bacteria. Although the investigators had expected that reducing the duration of antibiotic therapy would decrease the potential for antimicrobial resistance, there was no significant difference in levels of resistant bacteria between the two treatment groups. The authors conclude that the standard 10-day antibiotic regimen remains the preferred approach for treating middle ear infection.

Source:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Research validates anti-inflammatory properties of wine using urinary tartaric acid as biomarker