KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — An Australian report has found that despite general practitioners and primary health care providers controlling antibiotic prescribing, the bacteria causing meningitis, gonorrhoea are growing increasingly resistant to common antibiotics in Australia.
E. coli, Salmonella, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis are becoming increasingly resistant to major drug classes, including those that are considered last-resort treatments.
Antimicrobial resistance, exacerbated by overuse and misuse of antibiotics, shows little sign of lessening and continues to pose a risk to patient safety.
The overall use of antibiotics fell between 2015 and 2017, showing the first decline in 20 years.
However, problems continue to persist. Almost a quarter of all hospital antibiotic prescriptions were found to be inappropriate.
Almost half of enterococci samples tested across Australia were resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. This is higher than what has been seen in any European country.
Alarmingly, in aged care homes, multidrug-resistant organisms were found in significantly high numbers. More than half of prescriptions were issued to residents in those locations despite showing no signs or symptoms of infection.
The ‘Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia 2019: Third Australian report on antimicrobial use and resistance in human health (AURA 2019)’, published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care was released today and highlighted a number of resistant bacteria as major healthcare problems.
The report found that despite antimicrobial use in the community falling, they continue to be overprescribed. This has led to bacteria strains growing increasingly resistant to common antibiotics.
It also found that two in five Australians took at least one of the 26.5 million antimicrobial prescriptions dispensed in 2017.