Attempted Prevention of Diarrheal Disease in Apache Children with a Non-Absorbable Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial

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  • Departments of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Baltimore City Hospitals, National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism and Digestive Diseases, Baltimore, Maryland 21205

A double-blind study was conducted to test the prophylactic effect of a non-absorbable broad-spectrum antimicrobial (oral colistin sulfate) against acute diarrhea in Apache children. Children 1 to 6 months old had over twice the morbidity from diarrhea if assigned to the antimicrobial group as compared to placebo, while the toddler group (7–30 months) taking the antimicrobial had somewhat less diarrhea. Enterpathogenic E. coli were significantly more often isolated from the antimicrobial group (but only in well children). No special effect on the children's growth by the antimicrobial was discerned.