Antibiotic consumption in hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic: a comparative study
Keywords:COVID-19, antimicrobial, stewardship, resistance, antibiotic consumption
Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) results in similar clinical characteristics as bacterial respiratory tract infections and can potentially lead to antibiotic overuse. This study aimed to determine the changes in hospital antimicrobial usage before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methodology: We compared antimicrobial consumption data for 2019 and 2020. Inpatient antibiotic consumption was determined and expressed as a defined daily dose (DDD) per 100 occupied bed days, following the World Health Organization (WHO) methods. The WHO Access, Watch, and Reserve (AWaRe) classification was used.
Results: The total antimicrobial consumption in 2020 increased by 16.3% compared to consumption in 2019. In 2020, there was a reduction in fourth-generation cephalosporins (-30%), third-generation cephalosporins (-29%), and combinations of penicillins (-23%). In contrast, antibiotics that were consumed more during 2020 compared with 2019 included linezolid (374%), vancomycin (66.6%), and carbapenem (7%). Linezolid is the only antibiotic from the Reserve group on the hospital’s formulary. Antibiotic usage from the Access group was reduced by 17%, while antibiotic usage from the Watch group and the Reserve group was increased by 3% and 374%, respectively.
Conclusions: The findings show a significant shift in antibiotic usage from the Access group to the Watch and Reserve groups. The Watch and Reserve groups are known to be associated with increased resistance to antibiotics. Therefore, antimicrobial stewardship should be increased and maintained during the pandemic to ensure appropriate antibiotic use.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).