New hope for preterm babies future health November 16, 2017 Better baby health: researchers are stopping unnecessary antibiotics to preterm babies. A new investigation into preterm baby health may have implications for future antimicrobial resistance. Dr Andrew Currie is leading a research team from Murdoch University in partnership with neonatal consultant Tobias Strunk from King Edward Memorial Hospital to test the reliability of a diagnostic marker for sepsis infection in very preterm infants. “Neonatal late onset sepsis (LOS) is an infection frequently occurring in very preterm infants,” Dr Currie said. “More than 20 per cent of infants born earlier than 30 weeks gestation suffer from the dangerous condition, which worsens their outcomes and can even lead to death.” Dr Currie said the condition typically presents with symptoms very similar to a number of less concerning conditions and confirmation of the diagnosis could take up to 48 hours. As a result, more than 60 percent of uninfected preterm infants were being treated with precautionary doses of antibiotics for a prolonged period of time. “Antibiotics have a major impact on the development of infant gut microbiota with broad, potentially life-long consequences,” he said. “Exposure to antibiotics of infants without infection increases their chances of poorer outcomes. Unwarranted use of antibiotics in early life has been linked to an increased risk in diseases such as obesity, diabetes, allergy and asthma, and unnecessary antibiotic use is a major driver in the alarming increase in resistance.” Dr Currie’s team has identified a biological marker (sPLA2-IIA) that is showing great potential to identify babies who do not have LOS. “If we can reliably and quickly identify infants who are not suffering from LOS, then we can cease precautionary antibiotic treatment much faster,” he said. Spanning over the next two years, the researchers hope to see results translated into hospitals around the world as soon as possible. The project is supported by the Telethon-Perth Children’s Hospital Research Fund. Print This Post Media contact: Pepita Smyth Tel: (08) 9360 1289 | Mobile: 0417 171 551 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Research, Schools, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences Research Tags: andrew currie, antibiotics, gut health, king edward memorial hospital, late onset sepsis, preterm babies, telethon perth childrens hospital research fund Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!