Finland, which has tripled the use of erythromycin in the last decade to treat streptococcus infections, is suffering from a widespread resistance to the drug by that particular bacteria.

The antimicrobial research unit of the National Institute of Public Health in Turku, Finland, among other organizations, which studied 272 samples of the bacteria from 1988 through 1990, found that the frequency of resistance to erythromycin in group A streptococci from blood cultures increased from 4 per cent in 1988 to 24 per cent in 1990.

“In four communities within 50 km of each other, the frequency of erythromycin resistance ranged from 2 to 4 per cent to 26 to 44 per cent,” said the study.

Streptococcal infections include acute pharyngitis, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, impetigo, wound infection and potentially fatal septicaemia.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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