February 17, 2009

Analysis focuses on antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance and the rise of illnesses that cannot be treated easily because of drug resistance is a health concern, Canadian researchers say.

A series of articles, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, focuses on antimicrobial resistance in clinics, hospitals and at home.

An analysis by Dr. David Patrick of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and colleagues contains practical guidelines for clinicians to help reduce antibiotic exposure.

Our collective prescriptions constitute an ecological problem that may reduce the success of future therapy, the researchers said. The researchers point out that changes to drug formularies -- a list of prescription medications that a drug plan covers -- at the institutional level and in reimbursements from provincial drug plans result in the biggest shifts in antibiotic use.

A review by Dr. Andrew Simor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto and researchers from the Public Health Agency of Canada focuses on antimicrobial resistance in hospitals, the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, transmission of these organisms and the impact of antimicrobial resistance. They note that enhanced monitoring, hand-washing hygiene and other infection prevention control measures may help limit the increase of antibiotic resistance in Canada.