Antibiotic Prescription Practices Among Children with Influenza

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;905:25-31. doi: 10.1007/5584_2015_198.


The important factor in the development of resistance to antibiotics is their overuse, especially for viral respiratory infections. The aim of the study was to find out the frequency of the antibiotic therapy administrated to children with influenza. A total of 114 children younger than 59 months seeking care for the acute respiratory tract infection was enrolled into the study. The patients had influenza-like symptoms: fever > 38 °C, cough, and sore throat of less than 4 days duration. Nasal and pharyngeal swabs were tested for influenza A and B virus with a real-time PCR. Thirty six cases of influenza were diagnosed: 34 of influenza A (H3N2) and 2 of influenza B. The rate of influenza infection was 32 % in the study group. The antibiotic therapy was ordered for 58 % patients with influenza. Antibiotics were given less frequently in the outpatient setting (33 %) compared with the hospitalized patients (93 %) (p < 0.05). The most often administrated antibiotics were amoxicillin with clavulanic acid, cefuroxime, and amoxicillin. None of the patients received oseltamivir. Antibiotics were overused, while antivirals were underused among children with influenza. To improve health care quality, more efforts in the diagnosis of influenza and the appropriate use of antimicrobials and antivirals are required.

Keywords: Antibiotics; Antimicrobials; Antivirals; Children; Infection; Influenza; Neuraminidase inhibitors; Resistance; Respiratory tract.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Amoxicillin / therapeutic use
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cefuroxime / therapeutic use
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cough / etiology
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / genetics
  • Influenza B virus / genetics
  • Influenza, Human / complications
  • Influenza, Human / drug therapy*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Male
  • Oseltamivir / therapeutic use
  • Pharyngitis / etiology
  • Poland
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Oseltamivir
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination
  • Amoxicillin
  • Cefuroxime