Children at higher risk to resistant staph infections during summer
According to a nationwide study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, there is a specific seasonal tendency of resistant staphylococcal infections in adults and children. It seems that children are at greater risk of staphylococcal infections resistant to antibiotics during the summer, while adults have a greater risk in winter. The study is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacteria that is normally found on the skin surface, about 25% of adults being carriers of S. aureus. But under certain conditions (immunosuppression, the presence of other systemic diseases), it can produce a series of superficial or deep, systemic or local infections, which sometimes can be fatal. It should be noted that Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common pathogens involved in hospital infections. It is also worth saying that Staphylococcus releases some toxins, so this bacteria can generate not only infections but also intoxications.
Regarding this seasonal and age preference of treatment-resistant staphylococcal infections, Eili Klein, Ph.D., lead author on the study and a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences, said they do not yet know why this trend occur. However, he believes that excessive use of antibiotics in winter may be the cause. It seems that the strain that infects adults in winter is usually acquired in hospitals and is more resistant to antibiotics. Summer strain of MRSA ( methicilin resistant Staphilococcus aureus) that occurs especially in children during the summer is often a germ acquired in the community and resistant to fewer antibiotics.
Klein said that excessive prescribing of antibiotics can have negative effects. Antibiotic is quite common in winter, when the incidence of respiratory infections and the common cold is maximum. But inadequate administration of antibiotics to treat upper tract respiratory infections and colds contribute to the development of resistance. In addition, it is already known that antibiotics has no benefit when given to patients with influenza, because flu is given by a virus and not by a bacterium.
Staphylococcus is responsible for a range of infections such as skin infections (such as folliculitis, cellulitis, furuncle, erysipelas), respiratory tract infections (pneumonia, lung abscess), bone infection (osteomyelitis, arthrytis), etc.. These infections are difficult to treat because Staphylococcus is one of the germs that easily develops resistance to antibiotics. However, a targeted treatment applied correctly can cure staph infection.