Antibiotic overuse finds long trail across schoolchildren in East China, study says

More than 600 of 1,064 schoolchildren in East China tested had at least one of 18 antibiotics in their system, according to published study. The researchers cited food or environment as the likely sources for the tetracycline, quinolone and sulfonamide detected--particularly the ones out of use for years.

The scientists took urine samples from children in three economically and geographically distinct areas in 2013 to test for the presence of antibiotics, a concern by health authorities because of their tendency to become resistant to drugs.

The study in the Environmental Science & Technology journal said antibiotics were detected in 58.3% of the urine samples. At one site, it said, they were detected in 74.4%. At least two antibiotics were detected in 20% of the samples, it said.

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