The bacterial species Escherichia coli (E. coli) is an important group in the gut microbiota. But if E. coli colonizes the blood or urinary tract, it can lead to a serious infection. For example, E. coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infections. Infections are usually treated with oral antibiotics, but more severe forms require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotic treatment. “Using the antibiotic cefotaxime (cephalosporin) for intravenous treatment has long been the standard protocol. But over time, more and more bacteria have become less sensitive to this antibiotic, which has motivated the search for an alternative,” says Håkan Hanberger, professor at Linköping University and specialist in infectious diseases at Linköping Hospital and author of a study conducted at Linköping University and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
The study was conducted in 152 patients with urinary tract infections with fever or pyelonephritis, requiring intravenous antibiotics. Temocillin was shown to be as effective as cefotaxime with similar side effects, but the fact that temocillin is less aggressive to the gut microbiota suggests that its use has benefits for both the patient and ultimately public health. In addition, the study was able to show that temocillin induces less bacterial resistance and is therefore considered an excellent alternative to 3rd generation cephalosporins.