Immunologist warned against thoughtless use of antibiotics for COVID-19

TEL-AVIV, February 12 – RIA Novosti. For the treatment of viral diseases, including COVID, antibiotics are usually ineffective, and their unjustified use is fraught with negative consequences, Israeli immunologist, head of the department at the Israeli clinic Hadassah Ar-Atzofim, Professor Yakov Berkun told RIA Novosti. “Latest research published in in the journal Infection control and hospital epidemiology, showed that only 5-7% of severe patients with coronavirus – we are talking about 5% of hospitalized, and not the whole of the sick – really needed antibiotics, since they developed secondary bacterial diseases, while about 70% of those hospitalized with COVID, if not more, receive antibiotics. That is, ten times more people receive antibiotics than it really is, “Berkun said.

At the same time, mortality from COVID was higher among the group of patients who were prescribed antibiotics, according to studies published by the Elsewier Information Center. The researchers came to this conclusion after studying the results of treatment in Wuhan, and excluding the influence of the severity of the disease on the death.

Such unjustified prescription of antibacterial drugs is fraught with the fact that an increasing number of bacteria develop resistance to existing antibiotics. Penicillin was first used on February 12, 1941 by scientists Howard Florey and Ernst Cheyne to treat a London police officer who was dying of blood poisoning. Then the discovery of a new drug became a scientific breakthrough and a panacea for bacterial infections, for which the creators Howard Florey, Ernst Chain and Alexander Flemming, who first isolated penicillin, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945. Eighty years later, superbugs, whose antibiotic resistance is constantly increasing, pose a serious threat to hospital patients. Therefore, a strict system of monitoring and control over antibacterial drugs has been created in Israeli clinics – doctors cannot prescribe them without special permission.

“I am a professor, the head of the department, I cannot prescribe an antibiotic on my own. I have to explain, I cannot even write it down on a computer, because (this is done) only with the permission of an infectious disease specialist who monitors and issues permits to use such antibiotics. there are already a lot of super-resistant bacteria, “said Berkun. The spread of the coronavirus

Antibiotic treatment unnecessarily leads to a number of negative phenomena, including fungal infection in children, autoimmune diseases, decreased immunity, and disruption of the microbiome (intestinal microflora). However, doctors are constantly under pressure from patients and their relatives.

“I often come across not only concerned parents, but people in general, it's hard for them to hear that you have a viral disease and you don't need to treat it with anything: your body will cope with it. And there is a lot of pressure from both patients and their relatives. And many doctors, unfortunately for a great deal, instead of explaining, follow the lead – of course, it is much easier to write a prescription for an antibiotic to get left behind, “Berkun said.

According to the WHO, about 700 thousand people die annually from super-resistant bacteria, which are not affected by any of the existing drugs. At the same time, it becomes unprofitable for pharmaceutical companies to develop new super-powerful antibiotics, according to Professor Berkun, since they are not widely used and are taken in a short course.

According to the interlocutor of the agency, the reason for the growth of microbial resistance is often an interrupted course of taking the drug. “When people stopped (taking the drug) ahead of time or received a very low dose, they did not seem to finish off the microbe, and everything that does not kill makes them stronger, and thus it also contributes to the emergence of multidrug-resistant microbes,” said Berkun …

Currently, a search is underway for fundamentally different ways to combat pathogenic microbes. “And now they are trying to develop other ways to fight microbes, such as antibodies, phages, in general, other technologies are being developed to attack them differently, but this is much more expensive,” said the professor.

However, a gradual decrease in the effectiveness of existing antibiotics, according to the doctor, will not lead to a worldwide catastrophe or pandemic, since, first of all, superbugs exist within the walls of hospitals, are not transmitted at the same rate as viruses, and practically do not threaten a person with a healthy immune system …

Author: wedocount

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