Overuse of antibiotics and superbugs could be worsening the Covid-19 pandemic in India, according to an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study of 10 hospitals. The study showed that more than half of the Covid-19 patients who get a secondary bacterial or fungal infection die.
Covid-19 mortality worldwide is 10 %, the subgroup of patients with Covid-19 and a secondary infection which was part of the ICMR study, had a mortality of 56.7 %. According to the researchers only 4 % of the 17,000 Covid patients studied had secondary bacterial and fungal infections but extrapolating these numbers to total Covid-19 hospitalizations shows that thousands of people must have had a prolonged hospital stay, needing higher doses of antibiotics to prevent hospital acquired infections that typically develop after 10 days.
The study also highlighted that many patients needed strong antibiotics as they had superbugs that couldn’t be treated with regular antibiotics. 52 % of the patients received antibiotics of WHO’s “surveillance category” and one fifth of these were administered antibiotics classified as “last resort” or reserve category. Klebsiella pneumonia that caused pneumonia and UTI was the top pathogen amongst HAIs.1
Many patients have already treated themselves with antibiotics at home and by the time the come to the hospital they need “stronger” antibiotics. A worrying trend, as a broad use of antibiotics can lead to accelerated emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Experts believe that overuse of antibiotics and antifungals could have contributed to an increase in rare infections.
The longer a patient stays in the hospital, the greater the possibility that they will need an ICU or ventilator (which can cause HAI). What is worrisome is the excess of antibiotics will kill good bacteria & put ‘pressure’ on the pathogens that will end up becoming resistant to the drugs.”
Bactiguard’s infection prevention solutions are both effective and safe. They prevent infection and hence reduce the need for antibiotics. A clinical study with 853 patients, performed by Lederer et al.2, showed a 60 % decrease in antibiotic use after introducing Bactiguard coated catheters due to less infections. Another recently published randomised multicentre study on 1000 patients shows that urinary tract infections are reduced with 69 %.3
1. Kamini Walia et al., Infection and Drug Resistance 2021:14 1893–1903, https://www.dovepress.com/getfile.php?fileID=69729
2. Lederer JW et al., J Wocn 2014; 41(5):1–8
3. Kai-Larsen, Y., Grass, S., Mody, B. et al. Foley catheter with noble metal alloy coating for preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections: a large, multi-center clinical trial. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 10, 40 (2021). Publisher: Springer Nature. https://rdcu.be/cgCEH