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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2011 May;30(5):365-70. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31820243d3.

Secular trends in antibiotic use among neonates: 2001-2008.

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Infection Control Program, University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland.



Few data exist on time trends of antibiotic consumption among neonates.


To assess secular trends in antibiotic consumption in the context of an antibiotic policy and the effect of antibiotic use on the development of antimicrobial resistance and outcome among neonates in a single center.


We performed a prospective cohort study between 2001 and 2008 to monitor antibiotic consumption among neonates. In parallel, we initiated a policy to shorten antibiotic therapy for clinical sepsis and for infections caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci and to discontinue preemptive treatment when blood cultures were negative. Time trend analyses for antibiotic use and mortality were performed.


In total, 1096 of 4075 neonates (26.7%) received 1281 courses of antibiotic treatment. Overall, days of therapy were 360 per 1000 patient-days. Days of therapy per 1000 patient-days decreased yearly by 2.8% (P < 0.001). Antibiotic-days to treat infections decreased yearly by 6.5% (P = 0.01) while antibiotic-days for preemptive treatment increased by 3.4% per year (P = 0.03). Mean treatment duration for confirmed infections decreased by 2.9% per year (P < 0.001). No significant upward trend was observed for infection-associated mortality. Of 271 detected healthcare-associated infections, 156 (57.6%) were microbiologically documented. The most frequent pathogens were coagulase-negative staphylococci (48.5%) followed by Escherichia coli (13.5%) and enterococci (9.4%). Rates for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing microorganisms and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus remained low.


Shortening antibiotic therapy and reducing preemptive treatment resulted in a moderate reduction of antibiotic use in the neonatal intensive care unit and did not increase mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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