The Effect of Antibiotic Restriction Programs on Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Feb 13;8(4):ofab070. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofab070. eCollection 2021 Apr.


BACKGROUND: In hospital settings, restriction of selected classes of antibiotics is usually believed to contribute to containment of resistance development. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effect of restricting the use of specific antibiotic classes on the prevalence of resistant bacterial pathogens.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature search in Embase and PubMed/OVID MEDLINE. We included studies until June 4, 2020 in which a restrictive antibiotic policy was applied and prevalence of resistance and use of antibiotics were reported. We calculated the overall effect of antimicrobial resistance between postintervention versus preintervention periods using pooled odds ratios (ORs) from a mixed-effects model. We stratified meta-analysis by antibiotic-pathogen combinations. We assessed heterogeneity between studies using the I2 statistic and sources of heterogeneity using meta-regression.

RESULTS: We included 15 individual studies with an overall low quality of evidence. In meta-analysis, significant reductions in resistance were only observed with nonfermenters after restricting fluoroquinolones (OR = 0.77, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.62-0.97) and piperacillin-tazobactam (OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.72-0.92). High degrees of heterogeneity were observed with studies restricting carbapenem (Enterobacterales, I2 = 70.8%; nonfermenters, I2 = 81.9%), third-generation cephalosporins (nonfermenters, I2 = 63.3%), and fluoroquiolones (nonfermenters, I2 = 64.0%). Results were comparable when excluding studies with fewer than 50 bacteria. There was no evidence of publication bias for any of the antibiotic-pathogen combinations.

CONCLUSIONS: We could not confirm that restricting carbapenems or third-generation cephalosporins leads to decrease in prevalence of antibiotic resistance among Enterobacterales, nonfermenters, or Gram-positive bacteria in hospitalized patients. Nevertheless, reducing fluoroquinolone and piperacilline-tazobactam use may decrease resistance in nonfermenters.

PMID:33880388 | PMC:PMC8043261 | DOI:10.1093/ofid/ofab070