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J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2018 Mar 22. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piy019. [Epub ahead of print]

High Rates of Prescribing Antimicrobials for Prophylaxis in Children and Neonates: Results From the Antibiotic Resistance and Prescribing in European Children Point Prevalence Survey.

Collaborators (147)

Omar A, Azmi AAMA, Martinot A, Tagarro A, Johnson A, Bustinza A, Amina AJ, Brett A, Andrea LV, Lunn A, Dramowski A, McCorry A, Enimil A, Rashed AN, Soto B, Santiago B, McCullagh B, Gormley C, Giaquinto C, Lozano CAG, Montagnani C, Briquet C, Cooper C, Centenari C, Barton C, Blyth CC, Nash C, Calvo C, Orbach D, Sharpe D, Gkentzi D, Robbrecht D, Kalavalapalli DB, Mozgis D, Tamm E, Cox E, Critselis E, Borgia E, Iosifidis E, Bell E, Roilides E, Menson E, Ladomenou F, Rodrigues F, Gahleitner F, Tavchioska G, Garg G, Syridou G, Pouladfar G, Nicolini G, Finlayson H, Jansens H, Sviestina I, Esteves I, Abubakar I, Soltani J, AlAjmi JA, Alsalman J, Aston J, Nielsen JP, Petersen JR, Liese J, Alexander J, Francis JR, Garrahan JP, Clark J, Pagava K, Mougkou K, Doerholt K, Marques L, Jensen LH, Renner L, Mahieu L, Galli L, Raka L, Pluta M, Heginbothom M, Luca M, Matsinen M, Raman M, Malviya M, Awunyo M, Laan M, Knuf M, Cancino ME, Isa MS, Lorrot M, Garbash M, Borg MA, Kler N, Caldwell NA, Spyridis N, Ureta N, McMaster P, Garg P, Gabriels P, Rossom PV, Barrero PT, Najdenov P, Zarb P, Lepage P, Maton P, Poorisrisak P, Satodia P, Howe R, Gupta R, Olivier R, Tenconi R, Singh S, Chan SM, Unuk S, Burokiene S, Drysdale SB, Cambrea SC, Kouni S, Blumental S, Murki S, Kohlhoff S, Schlag SAA, Sahu S, Esposito S, Luck S, Kovacevic T, Singhal T, Zaoutis T, Scorrer T, Rajagopal V, Gajdos V, Usonis V, Vandewal W, Jafarpour Z, Maskari ZA, Rubic Z, Hargadon-Lowe A, Rincon-Lopez EM, Al-Mousa H, Maté-Cano I, Saavedra-Lozano J, Rummukainen ML, Prot-Labarthe S, Arenas-Lopez S, Escosa-García L, Dona' D, Le Maréchal F, Čižman M, Castañon PZ, D'Argenio P.

Author information

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany.
Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium.
Paediatric Infectious Disease Unit, St. George's Hospital, London, United Kingdom.



This study was conducted to assess the variation in prescription practices for systemic antimicrobial agents used for prophylaxis among pediatric patients hospitalized in 41 countries worldwide.


Using the standardized Antibiotic Resistance and Prescribing in European Children Point Prevalence Survey protocol, a cross-sectional point-prevalence survey was conducted at 226 pediatric hospitals in 41 countries from October 1 to November 30, 2012.


Overall, 17693 pediatric patients were surveyed and 36.7% of them received antibiotics (n = 6499). Of 6818 inpatient children, 2242 (32.9%) received at least 1 antimicrobial for prophylactic use. Of 11899 prescriptions for antimicrobials, 3400 (28.6%) were provided for prophylactic use. Prophylaxis for medical diseases was the indication in 73.4% of cases (2495 of 3400), whereas 26.6% of prescriptions were for surgical diseases (905 of 3400). In approximately half the cases (48.7% [1656 of 3400]), a combination of 2 or more antimicrobials was prescribed. The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics (BSAs), which included tetracyclines, macrolides, lincosamides, and sulfonamides/trimethoprim, was high (51.8% [1761 of 3400]). Broad-spectrum antibiotic use for medical prophylaxis was more common in Asia (risk ratio [RR], 1.322; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.202-1.653) and more restricted in Australia (RR, 0.619; 95% CI, 0.521-0.736). Prescription of BSA for surgical prophylaxis also varied according to United Nations region. Finally, a high percentage of surgical patients (79.7% [721 of 905]) received their prophylaxis for longer than 1 day.


A high proportion of hospitalized children received prophylactic BSAs. This represents a clear target for quality improvement. Collectively speaking, it is critical to reduce total prophylactic prescribing, BSA use, and prolonged prescription.


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