Explore this issue:July 2016
American Otological Society: The Hidden Cost of Antibiotics
Martin Blaser, MD, Muriel and George Singer Professor of medicine, professor in the department of microbiology, and director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University School of Medicine in New York City, gave the Bluestone Lecture to the audience gathered at the American Otological Society Annual Meeting. In his talk, Dr. Blaser explained that treating ear infections with antibiotics may have hidden costs.
In the 1940’s, physicians were just learning how to defeat bacterial infections of the urinary tract, sinuses, and ears. The impressive cures of last century have evolved, over the years, into an extravagant use of antibiotics, especially in the treatment of common upper respiratory tract infections. Today, antibiotics are regularly prescribed, even though fewer than 20% of upper respiratory tract infections are caused by bacteria.