Common antibiotic destroys superbug
An adjusted antibiotic has reduced patient fatalities from antibiotic-resistant strains of superbugs Klebsiella and E. coli by nearly 9%, and could eventually save 30,000 lives per annum.
Researchers tweaked the use of existing antibiotics and trialled the treatment on almost 400 patients with the life-threatening superbugs at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, along with 25 other hospitals worldwide.
University of Queensland’s Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR) Director Professor David Paterson said the Merino Trial re-examined antibiotics already in use so that treatment practices could be updated immediately without having to wait for new drugs to be approved — a process that takes years.
“There is an urgent need to consider appropriate antibiotic use in the face of rising antibiotic resistance,” he said.
“We found that prescribing the common antibiotic meropenem was more effective against the superbug than other antibiotic treatments, and drastically increased the rate of survival.” Meropenem is inexpensive and is available in all Australian hospitals.
The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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