Navigation Links
Dirty Pacifiers May Make Infants Sick: Study
Date:11/3/2012

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Pacifiers are universally popular with new parents and their infants, but there's one big problem with them: They can get dirty. Very dirty.

Researchers report that they found a wide range of disease-causing bacteria, fungus and mold on pacifiers that young children had been using.

They added that pacifiers can often grow a slimy coating of bacteria -- called a biofilm -- that actually alters the normal bacteria in a baby or toddler's mouth. That biofilm can spur inflammation and potentially increase the risk of developing gastrointestinal problems such as colic or even ear infections.

In fact, the same types of bacteria found on a common pacifier have been linked to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases, said study author Dr. Tom Glass, a professor of forensic sciences, pathology and dental medicine at Oklahoma State University.

Glass said the problem with pacifiers applies also to removable orthodontic appliances such as retainers and even athletic mouth guards and dentures. Pores in the plastic can capture fungi, bacteria, food and water, creating a perfect spot for bacterial and fungal growth and infection, he explained.

The research was scheduled to be presented Friday at the American Society for Clinical Pathology annual meeting in Boston. The data and conclusions of the study should be considered preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The study authors collected 10 pacifiers from healthy infants at a pediatric clinic. They chopped up the nipples and shields finely, and put them in laboratory dishes designed to allow any bacteria or fungi that was present on the pacifiers to grow.

After 24 and 48 hours, the investigators compared the growth around the used pacifiers to the growth in dishes in which chopped-up new, unused pacifiers had been placed.

While half of the 10 used pacifiers were lightly contaminated, the other 5 were heavily contaminated (with levels reaching as high as 100 million colony-forming units per gram).

The researchers cultured 40 different species of bacteria from the 10 used pacifiers. One pacifier was contaminated with four different strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Yet, the unused pacifiers were found to be sanitary (with colony growths in the dishes less than 100 colony-forming units per gram).

What was particularly concerning, said Glass, was that many of the bacteria growing from the used pacifiers were resistant to commonly used antibiotics such as penicillin and methicillin.

The development of such resistance to certain antibiotics does not cause the organism to be more infectious than other strains that have no antibiotic resistance, but it can make the infection more difficult to treat.

Glass doesn't recommend that parents use pacifiers to calm their babies and toddlers. "After doing the study, I say why take a risk? The key is to recognize that pacifiers can cause illness," he said. "In the long run, it may be that what you do now [using a pacifier] may have a lot to do with whether a child ends up developing atherosclerosis or type 2 diabetes."

For those who still choose to use pacifiers, Glass recommends soaking them daily in a denture-cleaning agent and carrying extras so a dropped or soiled pacifier doesn't have to be replaced without first cleaning it thoroughly at home.

He also recommends throwing out pacifiers after two weeks of use because wear increases the bacteria-trapping porousness of the plastic.

Some experts are not concerned about pacifiers carrying disease-causing germs.

Dr. Ben Hoffman, medical director of the Children's Safety Center at Oregon Health and Science University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital, said he can't think of an infection a child has had that he would attribute to a pacifier.

"The majority of things you're going to find on a pacifier are things we'll find on our clothes, normal human flora," said Hoffman. "It's not a reason to demonize pacifiers if people find them useful."

More information

Find out more about the risks and benefits of pacifiers from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

SOURCES: Tom Glass, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor, forensic sciences, pathology and dental medicine, and adjunct professor, microbiology, Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, Okla.; Ben Hoffman, M.D., pediatrician and medical director, Children's Safety Center, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.; Nov. 2, 2012, presentation, American Society for Clinical Pathology meeting, Boston


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Pacifiers may have emotional consequences for boys
2. Baby Bottles, Pacifiers, Sippy Cups Can Injure
3. Pacifiers Dont Discourage Breast-Feeding, Study Says
4. Guidelines developed for extremely premature infants at NCH proven to be life-changing
5. OU research team developing robotic devices to aid infants with cerebral palsy
6. Blood sugar control does not help infants and children undergoing heart surgery
7. Women & Infants site for premiere of softer hospital gowns called Janes
8. Women & Infants receives Womens Choice Award
9. Antibiotic Use in Infants Tied to Overweight Later: Study
10. With Very Sick Infants, Doctors and Parents Often Miscommunicate
11. Why do infants get sick so often?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Dirty Pacifiers May Make Infants Sick: Study
(Date:2/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... The narrative ... offers Erik Schanssema ’s true account of his paramedic experiences. Schanssema describes the ... disorder and his attempts to overcome them. , Schanssema, initially unsure of the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The California State ... convening academic faculty engaged in or interested in palliative care education and research. The ... be held in North County San Diego on Sept. 28 and 29, 2017, on ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... The International Association ... annual “Imagine Me Beyond What You See” body image mannequin art competition. Selected from ... be showcased and the winner revealed at the 31st annual iaedp Symposium, March 22 ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... The Radiology Business Management Association will select the 2017 Quest ... Better Radiology Marketing Programs conference, held this year from March 5 to 7 ... given out in five categories. They are:, ,     Patient Marketing, a ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... qualifying into the Senior International Elite division on February 12th. Ms. Esparza ... divisions at the elite qualifier competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frida is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... will present at the Cowen and Company 37 th ... Copley Place on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 11:20 ... of the presentation can be accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/cowen38/zbh ... the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Hemophilia Drugs ... ... Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides drug pricing data and benchmarks ... What are the key drugs marketed for ... Hemophilia market? What are the unit prices and annual ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... HARRISBURG, Pa. , Feb. 24, 2017 ... Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith ... role in providing training for and using naloxone, a ... Mark McCullough , a recovery specialist and overdose ... naloxone by EMS providers. "A significant part ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: