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Assessment of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in long term care facilities and its impact on antimicrobial resistance in acute care hospitals

Applicant Ruef Christian
Number 63276
Funding scheme NRP 49 Antibiotic resistance
Research institution Klinik für Infektionskrankheiten und Spitalhygiene Universitätsspital Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Infectious Diseases
Start/End 01.10.2001 - 30.06.2005
Approved amount 150'223.76
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Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Impact of use of antibiotics on antibiotic resistance in long-term care facilities

Little is known about the role of the use of antimicrobial agents in long-term care facilities in promoting the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Research on this question is vital, for the elderly segment of the population continues to grow and because a better understanding will allow us to improve the use of antibiotics.

The elderly population in Switzerland continues to grow. Many elderly people spend the last years of their lives in nursing homes and long-term care facilities (LTCF). Age and weakened immune systems due to underlying diseases promote the emergence of infections acquired in long-term care facilities. This results in even more use of antibiotics. Little data is available on antibiotics use and the prevalence of resistant bacteria in LTCF. There have been no investigations of the role of cross-transmission of resistant bacteria between patients, the impact of hygienic measures in hospitals or the impact of measures to optimise the use of antibiotics on the spread of antibiotic resistance in this sector of the health system.

In a first phase of research, we aim to model the situation in a long-term care facility as to the prevalence of facility-acquired infections, their treatment, and their effects. We are investigating the dissemination of resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus, chinolon-resistant E. coli and Klebsiella bacteria. We are using genotyping of isolated bacteria to determine whether the repeated identification of certain species is due to persistance of strains on certain patients or whether it is caused by transmission of such strains between patients. In a second phase of the project we will conduct our investigation in several LTCFs in parallel in order to assess, whether our findings represent the current situation in geriatric long term care in Switzerland

This project will expand our knowledge of current antibiotics use and antibiotic resistance in long-term care facilities. It will provide a basis for the development or optimisation of prevention and treatment concepts for the elderly living in these facilities. This will have a favourable impact on antibiotic resistance in this important segment of the Swiss population.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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