18 July 2024
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Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance Prevalence in European Hospitals

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing concern in healthcare settings worldwide, impacting the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating infections. A recent study presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases sheds light on how the prevalence of AMR varies by age and sex in bloodstream infections in European hospitals. Conducted by Gwen Knight and colleagues, the study explores the differences in resistance levels among different age groups and genders, highlighting the need for targeted interventions to combat AMR.

Variation in AMR Prevalence

The research analyzed data from 29 European countries, focusing on susceptibility results from bloodstream infections collected by the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) between 2015-2019. The findings revealed significant variation in AMR prevalence by age subnationally and between countries. Four main association forms were identified: u-shaped with a monotonic increase with age after infancy, constant, n-shaped with resistance peaking at intermediate ages, and monotonic decline with age. These variations highlight the complex nature of AMR and the need for tailored approaches to address it effectively.

Impact of Age and Sex on AMR

One of the key findings of the study was the influence of age and sex on AMR prevalence. While age showed substantial variation in resistance trends, with some pathogens exhibiting increased resistance with age, the relationship was not consistent across all bacterial species. Sex was found to be less frequently associated with resistance, except in certain cases like E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter sp., where men were more likely to have a resistant infection at younger ages. These insights challenge conventional assumptions about the drivers of AMR and highlight the need for a more nuanced understanding of the factors contributing to resistance.

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Implications for Intervention

The researchers emphasized the importance of these findings in shaping intervention strategies to combat AMR. The unexpected patterns of AMR prevalence by age and sex underscore the complexity of antimicrobial resistance and the need for targeted interventions that consider these factors. The study also highlighted the variation in antibiotic use guidelines between countries, which could contribute to the observed trends in resistance levels. By addressing the gaps in understanding AMR drivers and adopting tailored intervention approaches, healthcare systems can work towards reducing the burden of antimicrobial resistance and preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations.

Links to additional Resources:

1. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu 2. https://www.who.int 3. https://www.cdc.gov

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Antimicrobial resistance, European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net), European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes evolve mechanisms that protect them from the effects of antimicrobials (drugs used to treat infections). All classes of microbes can evolve resistance where the drugs are no longer effective. Fungi evolve antifungal resistance, viruses evolve antiviral resistance, protozoa evolve antiprotozoal resistance, and bacteria evolve...
Read more: Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes evolve mechanisms that protect them from the effects of antimicrobials (drugs used to treat infections). All classes of microbes can evolve resistance where the drugs are no longer effective. Fungi evolve antifungal resistance, viruses evolve antiviral resistance, protozoa evolve antiprotozoal resistance, and bacteria evolve...
Read more: Antimicrobial resistance

European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) is a non-profit international organization with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Its mission is to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infection-related diseases by promoting and supporting research, education, training, and good medical practice. An important activity of the society...
Read more: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

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