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Can Fam Physician. 1998 Sep;44:1881-8.

Antibiotic-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. Implications for medical practice.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the definition and prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, its links with antibiotic prescribing, data on antibiotic prescribing and prescribing appropriateness, and evidence-based treatment guidelines for common respiratory tract syndromes.

QUALITY OF EVIDENCE:

Primary studies consist of cross-sectional surveys and case-control studies. Treatment guidelines are based on clinical trials, meta-analyses, and cohort studies. Study designs were appropriate for the specific study questions.

MAIN FINDINGS:

The increasing prevalence of penicillin-resistant S pneumoniae is concurrent with increasing antibiotic prescribing. Individual patients show a twofold to ninefold increase in nasopharyngeal carriage of resistant bacteria or invasion with resistant bacteria (among those who have received antibiotics in the preceding 3 months). Cross-sectional data as well as data from medicaid and drug databases attest to overprescribing of antibiotics for respiratory tract infections. Physician surveys and focus groups blame this on parental pressure for antibiotic prescriptions. However, parents in focus groups and surveys deny they pressure their physicians and indicate their main purpose for office visits is to obtain a diagnosis and to seek reassurance that their children are not seriously ill. Evidence-based guidelines suggest treatment strategies that would reduce antibiotic prescribing.

CONCLUSIONS:

The few antibiotics that can be used with resistant organisms are expensive and are increasingly being needed. To control the rise of antibiotic resistance, it is important to limit antibiotic overprescribing.

PMID:
9789668
PMCID:
PMC2277883
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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