Antibiotics can prevent meningitis outbreaks

June 03, 2004

Giving antibiotics to everyone living in the same household as a patient who has had meningitis can substantially reduce the risk of further cases, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

Researchers analysed five studies to evaluate the effectiveness of giving chemoprophylaxis (preventive medicine) to the patient and to contacts in households and childcare settings.

They found that the risk of meningococcal disease in household contacts of a patient is reduced by 89% if they take antibiotics that eradicate meningococcal carriage. Another way of expressing this risk reduction across a population is that about 200 household contacts need to be treated to prevent one case during the first month.

The evidence also suggests giving preventive treatment to the patient before discharge from hospital, as at least 3% of patients will still carry the virulent meningococcal strain after treatment with penicillin.

However, there was no evidence to support indiscriminate prescribing of antibiotic prophylaxis to people outside this group, and there were insufficient studies to estimate the effect of chemoprophylaxis in childcare settings.

So far, a lack of evidence has led to different control policies across Europe. This paper reinforces current UK policy and provides sufficient evidence to encourage further consistency, conclude the authors.
-end-


BMJ

Related Antibiotics Articles from Brightsurf:

Insights in the search for new antibiotics
A collaborative research team from the University of Oklahoma, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Merck & Co. published an opinion article in the journal, Nature Chemical Biology, that addresses the gap in the discovery of new antibiotics.

New tricks for old antibiotics
The study published in the journal Immunity reveals that tetracyclines (broad spectre antibiotics), by partially inhibiting cell mitochondria activity, induce a compensatory response on the organism that decreases tissue damage caused during infection.

Benefits, risks seen with antibiotics-first for appendicitis
Antibiotics are a good choice for some patients with appendicitis but not all, according to study results published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

How antibiotics interact
Understanding bottleneck effects in the translation of bacterial proteins can lead to a more effective combination of antibiotics / study in 'Nature Communications'

Are antivitamins the new antibiotics?
Antibiotics are among the most important discoveries of modern medicine and have saved millions of lives since the discovery of penicillin almost 100 years ago.

Hygiene reduces the need for antibiotics by up to 30%
A new paper published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), finds improved everyday hygiene practices, such as hand-washing, reduces the risk of common infections by up to 50%, reducing the need for antibiotics, by up to 30%.

Antibiotics: City dwellers and children take the most
City dwellers take more antibiotics than people in rural areas; children and the elderly use them more often than middle-aged people; the use of antibiotics decreases as education increases, but only in rich countries: These are three of the more striking trends identified by researchers of the NRW Forschungskolleg ''One Health and Urban Transformation'' at the University of Bonn.

Metals could be the link to new antibiotics
Compounds containing metals could hold the key to the next generation of antibiotics to combat the growing threat of global antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics from the sea
The team led by Prof. Christian Jogler of Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, has succeeded in cultivating several dozen marine bacteria in the laboratory -- bacteria that had previously been paid little attention.

Antibiotics not necessary for most toothaches, according to new ADA guideline
The American Dental Association (ADA) announced today a new guideline indicating that in most cases, antibiotics are not recommended for toothaches.

Read More: Antibiotics News and Antibiotics Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.