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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2013 Feb;68(2):461-70. doi: 10.1093/jac/dks406. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Antibiotics involved in the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria: a nationwide multilevel study suggests differences within antibiotic classes.

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University Hospital of Besançon, Hospital Hygiene Department, F-25000 Besançon, France.



To identify the antibiotics potentially the most involved in the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from an ecological perspective in French healthcare facilities (HCFs).


This study was based on data from the French antimicrobial surveillance network (ATB-RAISIN, 2007-09). Antibiotics were expressed in defined daily doses per 1000 patient-days. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were considered as count data adjusted for patient-days. These were third-generation cephalosporin (3GC)- and ciprofloxacin-resistant Escherichia coli, cefotaxime-resistant Enterobacter cloacae, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and ceftazidime-, imipenem- and ciprofloxacin-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Three-level negative binomial regression models were built to take into account the hierarchical structure of data: level 1, repeated measures each year (count outcome, time, antibiotics); level 2, HCFs (type and size); and level 3, regions (geographical area).


A total of 701 HCFs from 20 French regions and up to 1339 HCF-years were analysed. The use of ceftriaxone, but not of cefotaxime, was positively correlated with incidence rates of 3GC- and ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli. In contrast, both 3GCs were positively correlated with the incidence rate of cefotaxime-resistant E. cloacae. Higher levels of use of ciprofloxacin and/or ofloxacin, but not of levofloxacin, were associated with higher incidence rates of 3GC- and ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli, cefotaxime-resistant E. cloacae, methicillin-resistant S. aureus and ceftazidime- and ciprofloxacin-resistant P. aeruginosa.


Our study suggests differences within antibiotic classes in promoting antibiotic resistance. We identified ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin as priority targets in public health strategies designed to reduce antibiotic use and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in French HCFs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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