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MINERVA PEDIATRICA

A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


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Minerva Pediatrica 2014 February;66(1):31-9

language: English

Combating the rise of antibiotic resistance in children

Nicolini G. 1, Sperotto F. 2, Esposito S. 3

1 Pediatric Unit, Ospedale San Martino Belluno, Italy;
2 Pediatric Clinic, University of Padua Padua, Italy;
3 Pediatric Highly Intensive Care Unit Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Milan University, IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Foundation, Milan, Italy


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Antibiotics are a cornerstone to treat bacterial infections and children received more frequently these drugs than any other class of medication. However, the improper and excessive use of antibiotics in the past decades has increased the emergence of resistant bacterial strains. Moreover, the lack of specific pediatric clinical trials on antibiotics led to a scarcity of high-evidence-level knowledge. The problem of the increase in antibiotic resistance should be known by all medical figures and probably by all members of the society, and a plan for an efficient strategy to improve antibiotic use in the entire world is highly needed. This review summarizes how antibiotics are mainly used in pediatrics and highlights the main problems related to the increase of antimicrobial-resistant bacterial strains, suggesting possible methods for reducing this increase. An excellent instrument to contain the emergence of antimicrobial resistance appeared the antibiotic stewardship program, that should be proposed and actualized in all contests in which antibiotics use is a common practice. Targeting the existing antibiotics with specific updated guidelines is also an essential measure to avoid antibiotics misuse. Moreover, educational on-line tools and their diffusions are useful strategies to diffuse knowledge on when and how to use antibiotics.

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susanna.esposito@unimi.it