Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Zinc plus standard antibiotics effective for child bacterial infection

  • Comment

Treating young children with suspected serious bacterial infection with zinc in addition to standard antibiotics significantly reduces the likelihood of treatment failure, according to Indian research published in The Lancet.

Researchers from the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute and All India Institute of Medical Sciences carried out the first study to assess the efficacy of zinc given in addition to standard antibiotic therapy for suspected serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis.

Young children aged between 7 and 120 days who were being treated with antibiotics for serious infections in three hospitals were randomly assigned to receive either 10mg zinc (352 infants) or placebo (348) each day, given orally.

Children given zinc were 40% less likely to experience treatment failure – measured as the need for secondary antibiotic treatment within seven days, need for treatment in intensive care, or death within 21 days – than those given placebo.

There were 34 treatment failures in 332 children who received zinc, and 55 in 323 children given placebo.

The authors said: “We would only need to give 15 children with probable serious bacterial infection zinc to prevent one treatment failure.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.