H. pylori Drug Resistance a Growing Problem in Germany

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters Health) Mar 06 -Indiscriminate use of antibiotics to fight Helicobacter pylori is encouraging the continued spread of drug-resistant strains, according to a leading German microbiologist.
Dr. Manfred Kist, of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene at the University of Freiburg, told Reuters Health on Tuesday that gastroenterologists often prescribe antibiotic regimens to treat H. pylori without first gathering enough pre-treatment information.

"That is blind therapy," said Kist, who also heads Germany's National Reference Centre for Helicobacter pylori.

Ideally, a stomach biopsy should be taken and bacterium tested for antibiotic sensitivity before a regimen is chosen, he said, although he conceded that such pre-treatment testing is expensive and that H. pylori is a "difficult" bacterium to investigate.

At the end of the 1980s, around 30% of patients carried bacteria resistant to metronidazole….

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