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Newly approved antibiotic to treat UTIs should be used responsibly, infectious disease expert says

Careful prescribing can help prevent breeding resistance

April 26, 2024

IN THE NEWS: Pivmecillinam, an antibiotic that has been used for decades in Europe, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women.

TheNewYorkTimes_136x91UTIs are common, but the bacteria that cause them are evolving to resist the current antibiotic treatments. For that reason, UCI Health infectious disease expert Dr. Shruti Gohil cautions that this newly approved antibiotic should be prescribed carefully. She tells The New York Times:

“This is an exciting new possibility for treatment of lower urinary tract infections. But I would also say that it is going to be important that we use the drug responsibly in this country so that we don’t breed resistance against it."

Gohil recently published two studies outlining a highly effective way to improve antibiotic selection for patients hospitalized with pneumonia or a UTI, enabling better antibiotic stewardship in hospitals. The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

She is a board-certified infectious disease expert, the associate medical director for UCI Health Epidemiology and Infection Prevention and an assistant professor at the UCI School of Medicine. Her clinical interests include hospital epidemiology, infection prevention, communicable disease transmission and multidrug-resistant organism infections.

She led the UCI Health response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, including the clinical and epidemiologic assessment of healthcare providers and patients, COVID-19 testing and vaccination, exposure definition and response, contact tracing, vaccination and infection prevention strategies to limit viral spread.

Gohil leads several national studies to assess patient risk for multidrug-resistant bacterial infections and to prompt physicians to limit the use of extended-spectrum antibacterial drugs in real time.

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