Revealing antibiotic cross-resistance patterns in hospitalized patients through Bayesian network modelling

Stacey S. Cherny, Daniel Nevo, Avi Baraz, Shoham Baruch, Ohad Lewin-Epstein, Gideon Y. Stein, Uri Obolski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Microbial resistance exhibits dependency patterns between different antibiotics, termed cross-resistance and collateral sensitivity. These patterns differ between experimental and clinical settings. It is unclear whether the differences result from biological reasons or from confounding, biasing results found in clinical settings. We set out to elucidate the underlying dependency patterns between resistance to different antibiotics from clinical data, while accounting for patient characteristics and previous antibiotic usage. Methods: Additive Bayesian network modelling was employed to simultaneously estimate relationships between variables in a dataset of bacterial cultures derived from hospitalized patients and tested for resistance to multiple antibiotics. Data contained resistance results, patient demographics and previous antibiotic usage, for five bacterial species: Escherichia coli (n = 1054), Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 664), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n = 571), CoNS (n = 495) and Proteus mirabilis (n = 415). Results: All links between resistance to the various antibiotics were positive. Multiple direct links between resistance of antibiotics from different classes were observed across bacterial species. For example, resistance to gentamicin in E. coli was directly linked with resistance to ciprofloxacin (OR = 8.39, 95% credible interval 5.58-13.30) and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (OR = 2.95, 95% credible interval 1.97-4.51). In addition, resistance to various antibiotics was directly linked with previous antibiotic usage. Conclusions: Robust relationships among resistance to antibiotics belonging to different classes, as well as resistance being linked to having taken antibiotics of a different class, exist even when taking into account multiple covariate dependencies. These relationships could help inform choices of antibiotic treatment in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
StatePublished - 2021


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