• Article
  • March 8, 2017

Antibiotic-Resistant Infections on the Rise for U.S. Children, Study Says

Infections rose almost 700 percent in over eight years.

Rising infection rates caused by a type of bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is causing longer hospitalizations and may mean a higher risk of death for children in the United States, according to a new study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and reporting in The Washington Post.

The study says three out of five children admitted to hospitals already had an antibiotic-resistant infection, suggesting these infections are spreading in the community.

Researchers analyzed Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) data collected from 48 children's hospitals between 2007 and 2015. They focused on approximately 100,000 children under the age of 18 who contracted infections caused primarily by Enterobacteriaceae, a family of dangerous bacteria resistant to most antibiotics. The results show the proportion of those infections rose almost 700 percent, from 0.2 percent to 1.5 percent in about eight years.

The study also found that children with Enterobacteriaceae infections had 20 percent longer hospital stays than pediatric patients with more treatable infections. Cases involving the bacteria may pose a higher risk of mortality.