Epidemiological interpretation of antibiotic resistance studies - What are we missing?

Mitchell J. Schwaber, Tali De-Medina, Yehuda Carmeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging public-health threat. Studies of the relationship between antibiotic use and resistance, as well as surveillance programmes, examine changes in the proportion of isolates that are resistant. Although proportions are helpful to the clinician prescribing empirical therapy, proportion-based analyses can be misleading to the public-health professional as they can yield biased estimates. Proportions do not adequately reflect the burden of resistance, a measure often of interest in public health. A more appropriate measure of this burden is the rate of isolation of resistant organisms, that is, the absolute number of resistant isolates in a population over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-983
Number of pages5
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Volume2
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

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