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Ig Sanita Pubbl. 2014 May-Jun;70(3):295-304.

Antibiotic resistance and defensive medicine, a modern challenge for an old problem: the case of Ureaplasma urealyticum.

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Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
Department of Urology, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.
Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


The practice of defensive medicine is an emerging problem in public health. A common practice of defensive medicine is excessive antibiotic prescribing which is well known to lead to antibiotic resistance, an important public health priority worldwide, not only for its clinical implications (increased morbidity, mortality, duration of illness, frequent development of complications and outbreaks), but also for the economic impact of antibiotic-resistant infections which lead to additional costs related to the use of more expensive drugs and procedures and to longer length of illness and hospital stays. Also, the emergence of pathogens resistant to multiple antibiotics reduces the possibility of an effective treatment. The present study investigated susceptibility to antibiotics of 115 strains of Ureaplasma urealyticum identified in urethral swabs. Patients who provided samples had a mean age of 41 years. Strains were 96% resistant to ciprofloxacin and 99% sensitive to doxycycline and pristinamycin and 98% to josamycin. Results were comparable to those of a previous study by Savarino and Mattei.


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