“ECDC surveillance report shows high level of antibiotic resistance in ICUs”
The burden of antibiotic resistance in European intensive care units (ICUs) remains high, according to a surveillance report today from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The report on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in ICUs, based on 2016 data from 1,159 hospitals and 1,451 ICUs in 14 countries, revealed that 30% of Staphylococcus aureus isolates were resistant to oxacillin, and resistance to third-generation cephalosporins was detected in 18.1% of Escherichia coli isolates, 32.1% of Enterobacter isolates, and 37.8% of Klebsiella isolates. In addition, carbapenem resistance was reported in 10.7% of Klebsiella isolates, 26.4% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates, and 66.1% of Acinetobacter baumannii isolates. Those percentages are comparable to the 2015 report.
“The high percentages of resistance to carbapenems of P. aeruginosa, A. baumannii, and K. pneumoniae isolates reflect the challenges in the treatment of ICU patients, a highly vulnerable patient population. . . . Moreover, the burden of antimicrobial resistance is high in ICUs, due to the severity of the clinical condition of the patients, the frequent use of antibiotics, and varying infection prevention and control practices,” the authors write. “Strengthening infection prevention and control practices and implementing antimicrobial stewardship are essential to prevent HAIs and counteract the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in ICUs.”
Overall, the report found that, of 151,709 patients staying in an ICU for more than 2 days, 12,735 patients (8.4%) presented with at least one HAI. The most common HAI was pneumonia, reported in 6.3% of patients; bloodstream infections occurred in 3.7% of patients, and 1.9% acquired urinary tract infections.