Antibiotic Stewardship Programs Linked to Lower Rates of Drug-Resistant Infections — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 19, 2017

Antibiotic Stewardship Programs Linked to Lower Rates of Drug-Resistant Infections

By Kelly Young

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD

Antibiotic stewardship programs are effective in lowering the incidence of drug-resistant bacterial infections and colonization in hospitals, according to a meta-analysis in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Researchers analyzed 32 studies that examined whether implementing inpatient antibiotic stewardship programs reduced the incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and colonization.

Antibiotic stewardship was associated with reduced incidence of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (51% reduction), extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Gram-negative bacteria (48%), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (37%), and Clostridium difficile (32%). The addition of infection control measures, particularly hand-hygiene improvement, had a synergistic effect. The most effective program was antibiotic cycling, followed by audits and feedback, and then antibiotic restriction.

Commentators conclude: "If we get antibiotic stewardship right, the real winner will be the patient who avoids infection by a drug-resistant bacterium or C. difficile, now and in the future, as we preserve antibiotics for the generations to come."

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