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Can You Be Allergic to Antibiotics in Food?

Here's another good reason to consider choosing organic fruits and vegetables: the case of a 10-year-old girl who had an anaphylactic reaction to a slice of blueberry pie. Her clinical course has alerted allergists to the possibility that some people can have a severe allergic response to antibiotic residues in food. The young patient had a history of asthma and seasonal allergies as well as anaphylaxis to penicillin and cow's milk, but she had no known allergy to the ingredients in the pie. After ruling out other possibilities, doctors concluded that her reaction was due to a blueberry in the pie contaminated with streptomycin, an antibiotic used in agriculture as a pesticide in fruit to combat the growth of bacteria, fungi and algae and in medicine as a treatment for tuberculosis. While allergic reactions like this one are considered rare, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology noted that allergists and emergency room personnel should be aware of the possibility that antibiotic residues can trigger allergic reactions.

When Was The Last Time You Took An Antibiotic? (Poll)

A recent Q&A discussed antibiotics and whether they are helping or hurting by creating "superbug" infections: Unnecessary Antibiotics? Check out the article and let us know when the last time was you took an antibiotic for a bacterial infection.

No More Appendectomies?

In some cases, antibiotics alone may be all that’s needed to address an inflamed appendix, a newly published study has shown. Researchers looked at substituting 24 hours of intravenous antibiotics in place of surgery for some children and teens. To qualify for the alternate protocol, the 77 youngsters who took part in the study had to have pain for 48 hours or less, exhibit only moderately elevated white blood counts, and completed a screening CT or ultrasound scans that clearly showed that the appendix hadn’t ruptured and the young patients had no impacted feces. Of the 77 patients who met the criteria, 30 decided to give the antibiotic route a try. Two of them needed surgery within 24 hours because they showed no signs of improvement on the drugs. Another youngster needed surgery later because of “insufficient improvement.” Under the usual protocol, appendicitis patients undergo immediate surgery. After 30 days, the 27 patients who received intensive antibiotics instead of surgery were doing well. The researchers wrote that they will continue to follow their young patients and provide information on the longer-term success rate, safety and cost-effectiveness.

Peter C. Minnici et al “Feasibility of a Nonoperative Management Strategy for Uncomplicated Acute Appendicitis in Children,” Journal of the American College of Surgeons,

What Type of Meat Do You Eat Most Often? (Poll)

A recent Q&A discussed the use of antibiotics in food: Antibiotics and Superbugs in Your Food? Check out the article and let us know which type of meat you include in your diet or if you forgo meat altogether!