Resistance to antibiotics is more common in southern and eastern Europe than in northern Europe because the regions have high rates of antibiotic use, suggests a study published in this week’s issue of THE LANCET.
Herman Goossens (University of Antwerp, Belgium) and colleagues compared antibiotic use with antibiotic resistance rates in 26 European countries from the beginning of 1997 to the end of 2002. To control for the different population sizes the investigators expressed data in defined daily dose per 1000 inhabitants daily (DID).
The study found that the prescription of antibiotics in primary care in Europe vary greatly. The highest rate was in France (32.2 DID) and the lowest was in the Netherlands (10.0 DID). Across Europe antibiotic use was lower in northern, moderate in eastern and higher in southern regions. Seasonal fluctuations were high in southern and eastern European countries, whereas in northern European countries the increase in antibiotic use during the winter was less than 25%. In most countries the researchers found a growing use of the newer antibiotics (active against a broad spectrum of micro-organisms) and a decline in use of the older antibiotics (active against a narrow spectrum of micro-organisms).
Udani Samarasekera | alfa
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