Antibiotic use reduced by antimicrobial stewardship programs

Feb. 13, 2023

Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) reduce antibiotic prescriptions and consumption of antibiotics, according to a review and meta-analysis published online in JAMA Network Open.

Kyaw Zay Ya, M.B., B.S., M.P.H., from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Allschwil, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association between ASPs and consumption of antibiotics globally. A total of 52 studies with 1,794,889 participants were included: 40 and 12 were conducted in high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries, respectively. 

The researchers found that ASPs were associated with a reduction of 10% in antibiotic prescriptions and a 28% decrease in consumption of antibiotics (rate ratio, 0.72). In pediatric hospitals, there was a 21% reduction in antibiotic consumption noted in association with ASPs. Furthermore, a 28% reduction was seen in World Health Organization Watch group antibiotics in association with ASPs (rate ratio, 0.72). 

"ASPs were also associated with reduced consumption of antibiotics on the WHO Watch list, with particularly high risk of selection of bacterial resistance," the authors write. "In light of concerning increased use of Watch antibiotics globally, this is good news, as it suggests that protecting these drugs through appropriate ASPs is possible." 

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