Superbug Prevention | Public Health Update

From eNewsletter 2/26/2020

DID YOU KNOW that 2020 is a leap year? Adding an extra day every four years keeps our calendar aligned correctly with the astronomical seasons, since a year according to the Gregorian calendar (365 days) and a year according to Earth's orbit around the Sun (approximately 365.25 days) are not the exact same length of time. Without this extra day, our calendar and the seasons would gradually get out of sync. Because of this extra day, a leap year has 366 days instead of 365.


Steve & Bonnie: We post an alert every three to four months.

Superbug Prevention

Antibiotics are not the only class of drug contributing to superbug proliferation. According to a study from Monday's JAMA Internal Medicine, acid suppression from reflux medication (OTC or prescription) is associated with increased odds of multidrug-resistant microorganisms colonization (superbugs). In view of the global increase in antimicrobial resistance, the authors suggest stewardship to reduce unnecessary use of acid suppressants to prevent multidrug-resistant microorganisms colonization.

There's yet another issue with reflux medication. Continuous use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may cause acute stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis), according to a study in JAMA Network Open. The finding adds to existing evidence that physicians should deprescribe PPIs when possible to reduce potential adverse events.


Women who take macrolide antibiotics during the first trimester of pregnancy have an increased risk of their child having a major malformation, according to authors of a BMJ study, who urge caution in the use of the drugs throughout pregnancy. Macrolide antibiotics include erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin, and are among the most frequently prescribed antibiotics during pregnancy. Specifically, erythromycin use in the first trimester was linked to a 50% increased risk of any major malformation.