A multicenter point prevalence survey of antibiotic use in Punjab, Pakistan : findings and implications

Saleem, Zikria and Hassali, Mohamed Azmi Ahmad and Versporten, Ann and Godman, Brian and Hashmi, Furqan Khurshid and Goossens, Herman and Saleem, Fahad (2019) A multicenter point prevalence survey of antibiotic use in Punjab, Pakistan : findings and implications. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy, 17 (4). pp. 285-293. ISSN 1744-8336 (https://doi.org/10.1080/14787210.2019.1581063)

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Objectives: In line with the recent global action plan for antimicrobial resistance, this is the first time such a comprehensive antimicrobial point prevalence survey has been undertaken in Pakistan, the sixth most populous country. Methods: This point prevalence survey (PPS) was conducted in 13 hospitals among 7 different cities of Pakistan. The survey included all inpatients receiving an antibiotic on the day of PPS. A web-based application was used for data entry, validation, and reporting as designed by the University of Antwerp (www.global-pps.com). Results: Out of 1954 patients, 1516 (77.6%) were treated with antibiotics. The top three most reported indications for antibiotic use were prophylaxis for obstetrics or gynaecological indications (16.5%), gastrointestinal indications (12.6%) and lower respiratory tract infections (12.0%). The top three most commonly prescribed antibiotics were ceftriaxone (35.0%), metronidazole (16.0%) and ciprofloxacin (6.0%). Out of the total indications, 34.2% of antibiotics were prescribed for community-acquired infections (CAI), 5.9% for healthcare-associated infections (HAI), and 57.4% for either surgical or medical prophylaxis. Of the total use for surgical prophylaxis, 97.4% of antibiotics were given for more than one day. Conclusions: Unnecessary prophylactic antibiotic use is extremely high, and broad-spectrum prescribing is common among hospitals in Pakistan. There is an urgent need to work on the  national action plan of Pakistan on antibiotic resistance to address this.