Multidrug-resistant strains of pneumococci are common in the US and continue to increase — especially in children under age 5 — according to a report published in the December 28th, 2001 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors are hopeful, as am I, that the pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar, will protect children from these strains of bacteria.
Whether or not a child receives this vaccine, it is wise to avoid creating resistant bacteria. This is best accomplished by avoiding all unnecessary antibiotic use, choosing the narrowest spectrum antibiotic appropriate when an antibiotic is needed, and by making use of probiotics such as active-culture yogurt. Yogurt is a great addition to a child’s regular diet, and is especially helpful during and after antibiotic treatment.