Urinary tract infection during pregnancy using public facility and I also provided some information on how to dangerous it can be for both, unborn child and expectant mother. Now I would like to have a quick review of a treatment options available in eastern Europe.
So why not treat infection early before it progressed to advanced stage and cause so much irreparable damage?
Sadly enough, but most of the treatment options available now days in Western countries are limited to antibiotics only, regardless of numerous facts that confirm the negative impact of administering antibiotics during gestation. Beyond doubt, using antibiotics during pregnancy is not recommended as it has teratogenic effect on unborn baby 1 2. Teratogens are substance or organisms cause abnormal foetal development and birth defects.
Under normal conditions medication metabolites are processed in the liver and excreted by the kidneys with urine. When kidneys are damaged the rate of excretion is reduced critically, which leads to prolong circulation of drug in a blood. Administration of antibiotics has to be done with the great caution as even slightly increased dosage can exceed the ‘safe’ level in the blood and even lead to renal failure 3. Even though drug toxicity increases dramatically as result of malfunctioned kidneys that are unable to completely get rid of wastes, serious infections like pyelonephritis still require prolong treatment with large amount and different combinations of antibiotics.
Apart from adding stress to earlier impaired kidneys, continuous drug administration often causes bacteria to acquire resistance to certain antibiotics, which makes therapy not only risky but also ineffective.
Once bacteria acquire resistance to particular class of antibiotics designed to target specific group of pathogens, the risk of losing control over the disease is high. If no alternative treatment available the only option is either immediate pregnancy termination if foetus is under 23-24 weeks of gestation or labour induction if baby reached 24 weeks (25 in some countries). Starting labour artificially before 35 weeks of gestation (normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks) can often have dangerous if not tragic consequences, especially when child’s growth was stunted by infection.
Due to toxic effect on child and limited therapeutic potency of antibiotics, eastern European medicine developed a new approach to treatment of UTI during pregnancy. In former Soviet Union lytic bacteriophages are widely prescribed for large number of various infections.
Because of exclusively high specificity of bacteriophages in relation to host, the pathogen species have to be identified prior to start of the treatment. Infections during pregnancy require urgent attention and due to time constraints treatment often starts before bacteria identified. To avoid delays in therapy, Russian scientists manufactured the cocktail of assorted phages. One of the most promising phage mixtures that target multiple strains at a time is sextaphage (pyobacteriophage). Sextaphage is a preparation of multiple phages against Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Proteus, Enterococcus, E. coli. Phage preparation is regularly updated to meet current epidemiological requirements. Yet, it still consists of bacteriophages against most frequently isolated pathogens.
According to numerous clinical studies phage-treated patients had better pregnancy outcome with no registered cases of intrauterine transmission of infection or side effects if correct doses were administered. In addition, phages can be used in conjunction with antibiotics, in order to reduce toxicity, but insure efficacy of complex therapy. Moreover, bacteriophages in a complex therapy greatly reducing the risk of sepsis causing by not properly treated infections in both mother in child.