According to the Murdoch Children' Research Institute (MCRI), Australian children are consuming more antibiotics than ever despite the rising risk of drug-resistant superbugs, reported Xinhua news agency. The prescription rate for antibiotics for infants in Australia has risen to 230 per cent from 2007.
The main author of the study David Burgner said that the outcomes refuted strenuous efforts of medical industry to reduce antibiotic intake. The prescription rate for infants was 150 per cent higher than in Britain and 500 per cent higher than in Switzerland, Bugner added.
"We found that by the age of one year, half of all infants had been prescribed at least one course of antibiotics and one in eight infants had been prescribed three or more courses of antibiotics," Burgner told Xinhua.
At least 20 per cent of the prescription was for viral infections which antibiotics have no effect on. Though researchers were unable to find out what percentage of the prescriptions were justified. Antibiotics were also often prescribed for ear infections, which they also generally ineffective in treating.
Commenting on the same issue Burgner said that providing a better education for parents and medical practitioners were key in reducing the number of antibiotics taken by infants.