Specialist recalls: Taking antibiotics for viral infections is dangerous

April 22, 2020  23:40

Taking antibiotics during viral infections is useless and can be dangerous, warns Professor Roman Kozlov, head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Capacity Building on Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance and Research, Russia.

Prescribing antibiotics for viral infections, which include the flu, is wrong. They do not prevent the development of complications, but can only lead to an increase in the resistance of bacteria, he said.

Kozlov recalled that the unjustified use of antimicrobials leads to the spread of resistance: this is when bacteria become insensitive to antibiotics. This is an extremely serious global problem, which can lead to the fact that the most ‘ordinary’ infectious diseases will kill hundreds of thousands of people.

For the personalization of antibiotic therapy, any prescription of antimicrobial agents should be preceded by a microbiological study with the release of the pathogen(s) and the subsequent determination of sensitivity to antimicrobial agents. And this is impossible to realize in all cases, especially at the outpatient stage for a variety of reasons. To ensure that the prescription of antimicrobials was adequate, multicenter studies of the structure and sensitivity to pathogens of certain infections to antimicrobials are carried out. This allows clinicians to prescribe or not to prescribe antibiotics based on the data obtained, he added. 

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