The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is calling for the use of penicillin skin testing to slow the development of antibiotic resistance, according to a press release.
An allergy to penicillin, which is reported by approximately 10% of the U.S. population, is linked with an unrecognized morbidity, which is receiving alternative antibiotics when penicillin would usually be the drug of choice. The problem with receiving alternative antibiotics, according to the release, is that they have been linked with higher costs, greater risk for adverse effects, longer hospital stays and encouraging resistant bacterial strains.
Almost nine out of 10 people with a suspected penicillin allergy have negative penicillin skin testing and can receive penicillin safely.
“Without such testing, there is an unrealized opportunity to improve healthcare outcomes and reduce rising rates of antibiotic resistance,” Robert F. Lemanske, Jr., MD, FAAAAI, president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology said in the release. “Allowing many people to return to using penicillin antibiotics should slow the development of antibiotic resistance.”
The statement comes days after a 5-year strategy was released by the White House to combat antibiotic resistance nationally.