Antibiotic resistance and childhood hospital admissions: a concern for urinary tract infections?
Research For Life
Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice
Urinary tract infections are regarded as one of the most common bacterial infections, accounting for significant morbidity and high medical costs. Māori and Pacific children and children living in more deprived areas experience a disproportionately high burden of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Empirical treatment with antibiotics is routine in general practice, and often successful. However, childhood hospital admissions for UTIs are increasing in New Zealand. While the reasons for the increases are unclear they are likely to be associated with both social factors such as timely access to primary health care; and treatment such as resistance to antibiotic therapy.
Our research is in direct response to areas highlighted in the literature which need investigation. There are no specific data on the incidence of antibiotic resistance in childhood UTIs in New Zealand. We know that antibiotic resistance in adult UTI infections in New Zealand has increased over the past decade and we know that hospital admissions for childhood UTIs are increasing. Accordingly, there is a need to assess the incidence of antibiotic resistance in childhood admissions for UTIs; and a need to curb the increase of hospital admissions for UTIs by intervening earlier in the community with appropriate and successful empirical antibiotic therapy.
Data analysis for this research is underway, and we have expanded the body work to include infectious diseases and co-morbidities to explore the health burden around these hospital admissions for children under the age of 13 years. I would like to thank the WMRF for the grant-in-aid to carry out this work, our results will inform further grant applications and epidemiological data regarding antibiotic resistance in childhood hospital admissions.