Metapopulation ecology links antibiotic resistance, consumption, and patient transfers in a network of hospital wards
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat. A better understanding of how antibiotic use and between-ward patient transfers (or connectivity) impact population-level AMR in hospital networks can help optimize antibiotic stewardship and infection control strategies. Here, we used a metapopulation framework to explain variations in the incidence of infections caused by 7 major bacterial species and their drug-resistant variants in a network of 357 hospital wards. We found that ward-level antibiotic consumption volume had a stronger influence on the incidence of the more resistant pathogens, while connectivity had the most influence on hospital-endemic species and carbapenem-resistant pathogens.
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