Antibiotic stewardship reduces C. diff incidence by 32%

A study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, examined the effect of antibiotic stewardship on the incidence of infection and colonization with antibiotic-resistant bacteria as well as Clostridium difficile infections.

Researchers searched PubMed, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Web of Science for studies that analyzed antibiotic stewardship program efficacy with regard to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and C. diff. Studies included were published between Jan. 1, 1960, and May 31, 2016. Researchers excluded studies involving long-term care facilities.

In all, researchers analyzed 32 studies, which included 9.05 million patient-days and 159 estimates of incidence ratios of target infections and colonization.

The study shows that antibiotic stewardship programs reduced the incidence of infections and colonization with:

•    Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria by 51 percent
•    Extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Gram-negative bacteria by 48 percent
•    Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus by 37 percent

The programs also reduced the incidence of C. diff infections by 32 percent.

Additionally, researchers found antibiotic stewardship programs were more effective when implemented with infection control measures, especially hand-hygiene interventions, than when implemented alone.

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