Rafaella’s Literature Update

The following message is courtesy of Dr Raffaella Ravinetto, Public Health Department, Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, Belgium.

Dear Friends,

After a few ‘silent’ weeks, I would like to share with you three papers, all somehow related to antibiotic quality and/or rational use. Depending on your personal interests and background in the related disciplines, you can decide to read one or more in detail or to share one or more with possibly interested colleagues. The interest of looking at the three papers altogether is that we realize once more that rational use of antibiotics cannot simply be achieved by acting on prescription practices and compliance, but it is a multidisciplinary undertaking that requires improving, among other things, the quality of the products, their affordability, perceptions, and the way we think and communicate about antibiotics. In short ….

In the first paper, a Viewpoint, Monnier and Coll. discuss how the identification of oral antibiotics and their distinction from other commonly used medicines can be challenging for consumers, suppliers, and health-care professionals, due to the large variation in the names that people use to refer to antibiotics, and on how the physical appearance of medicine affect communication between patients and health-care professionals, dispensing, medicine use, and the public understanding of health campaigns.

In the second paper, Tack and Coll. report challenges observed within a prospective, cohort study on antibiotic efficacy in non-typhi Salmonella bloodstream infection. One of our findings is that the quality of paediatric antibiotics can heavily impact their adequate use: in fact, the dosing accuracy of oral suspensions was impaired by a lack of instructions for reconstitution, volume indicators, and/or dosing devices; adult-dose tablets were split without/beyond scoring lines of tablets; other quality issues included poor packaging, nonhomogeneous suspensions, and unsafe water for reconstitution. In short, poor antibiotic products (no age-appropriate formulations, poor quality and access), must be urgently addressed in this context to improve pediatric antibiotic treatment.

In the third paper, Krockow and Coll reflect, based on the results of two surveys conducted in the UK and the US, on the public perception of the threats of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and on the fact that information campaigns—while showing some successes—have fallen short in generating a lasting increase of public awareness. Their findings suggest that existing AMR-related health terms—particularly “AMR” and “Antimicrobial resistance”—are unsuitable for public health communication, because “they score consistently low on both memorability and risk association”.

Have a nice reading,


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