Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 20. doi: 10.1007/s10096-021-04222-5. Online ahead of print.
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most relevant threats in public health worldwide. Strategies as antimicrobial stewardship programs, aiming to preserve our antibiotic armamentarium, have been implemented since 2007 in adult and paediatric patients. We aim to describe the first experience of a paediatric antimicrobial stewardship program. We conducted a retrospective observational study in a tertiary care children's hospital. A team composed of a microbiologist, an infectious diseases physician, and a paediatrician led the project. All positive blood and cerebrospinal fluid cultures and other biological samples yielding multi-drug-resistant bacteria were collected and reviewed through a prospective-audit-with-feedback strategy. We recorded patient characteristics and worth monitoring prescribed antibiotics. The antimicrobial stewardship audit could end in intervention (step-up/step-down and broadening/narrowing) or recommendation(s). We then checked out wards staff compliance. The team performed 192 interventions out of 584 reviews, mostly suggesting discontinuation of antibiotics (in 76.0% of cases and 39.7% of running molecules). The antibiotic spectrum was more likely tapered than expanded (p < 0.0001), and we ordered more narrow-spectrum antibiotic molecules than local medical staff straightaway did (p = 0.0113). Interventions were most likely needed in case of documented infections (p < 0.0001) and in surgical patients (p = 0.0002). In 85.9% of interventions, ward teams fully agreed with our argument. This study demonstrated an antimicrobial stewardship program to be a suitable method for improving the appropriateness of antimicrobial use in hospitalized children.