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Researchers Find That Antibiotics Should Not Be Taken for Traveler's Diarrhea

FEB 27, 2017 | KRISTI ROSA
Dr. Kantele went on to stress the importance of these findings, “This whole thing has an important consequence: if a person has taken a certain antibiotic during travel, they get those ESBLs which are resistant to it. So they get ESBLS which are exceptionally broadly resistant to various antibiotics. Such strains are more difficult to treat should you happen to get an infection with it.”

Through the exchange of “packages” that consist of a number of resistance genes, bacteria can transfer resistance to one another, according to the press release; this means that one “package” can possibly possess resistance to a number of different types of antibiotics. The researchers found that most of the ESBL strains that had developed resistance against fluoroquinolones, also exhibited resistance to other types of antibiotics, “the resistance to which is known to be transferred in the same gene packages that transfer ciprofloxacin resistance.”

Dr. Kantele elaborated, “The worst part is that the resistance genes may be transferred in packages and when [you get infected with] a FQ-resistant bug it may be resistant also to tobramycin [and others], so the alternative treatment options are fewer and fewer.”

Though ESBL infections are usually asymptomatic, these bacteria are capable of causing diseases that can potentially result in death. Dr. Kantele stressed that antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat to healthcare in that if antibiotics start to lose their efficacy, a number of infectious diseases can, once again, translate to a death sentence.

Dr. Kantele stressed that the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains only works to make the problem even worse. When it comes to TD, most cases range only from mild to moderate when it comes to severity, and therefore, antibiotics are not needed for otherwise healthy adults.

“We should take antibiotics during travel only if we are really ill, not for typical travelers’ diarrhea with mild or moderate symptoms. Fever and poor condition are causes for taking antibiotics. Other than that, one should drink adequately, and, if needed, use non-antibiotic antidiarrheal medications,” concluded Dr. Kantele.
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