Info Service on Health Issues (Sept17/02)
Australia: Second report on antimicrobial use and resistance
A comprehensive Australian report has revealed increasing antibiotic resistance of various types of bacteria in the country. The report, Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia 2017: Second Australian report on antimicrobial use and resistance in human health (Aura 2017), is published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, a government agency.
Some of the key findings from Aura 2017 include:
· Antimicrobial resistances are having a major impact on seriously ill patients in hospitals and require major efforts in hospitals to control their spread.
· On any given day in hospital in 2015, 40.5% of patients were given an antimicrobial. Of these, 23.3% of prescriptions were noncompliant with guidelines and 21.9% were inappropriate.
· Some 56% of enterococci can be resistant to vancomycin – a level higher than in any European country.
· Community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) is now a more common cause of bloodstream infection than health-associated MRSA.
More on the report is attached below.
Comprehensive report on antibiotic resistance identifies new challenges
August 2, 2017
A comprehensive national report on the spread of antimicrobial resistance in Australia has highlighted a number of specific types of bacteria as major emerging healthcare problems, with one type in particular causing resistance to last-resort antibiotics in just over half of hospital samples.
Despite some recent gains in efforts to encourage more careful use of antibiotics, the new report finds as much as 56% of samples of enterococci can be resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin – a level higher than in any European country.
The report, called Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia 2017: Second Australian report on antimicrobial use and resistance in human health, also finds that a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become the most common type of MRSA infection in the community, and is now a more common cause of bloodstream infections than hospital-associated strains of MRSA.
The report will be launched at an event at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. AURA 2017 provides a more comprehensive picture of antimicrobial resistance, which is a critical challenge to health systems in Australia and around the world.
The report contains valuable data on antimicrobial use in the community and hospitals, identifies key emerging issues for antimicrobial resistance, and gives a detailed overview of Australia’s first National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistances (CARAlert). It finds that antibiotic use has been falling in Australian hospitals, a shift that will help to slow the spread of resistance. However, there are still concerning levels of inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics in hospitals and the community.
The report also highlights a number of areas for action to help reduce antimicrobial resistance. These include continued monitoring of the spread of resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes gonorrhoea, to inform treatment guidelines for the condition. In the case of vancomycin-resistant enterococci, the report calls for strict adherence to infection control guidelines and effective cleaning and sterilisation in healthcare facilities.
Commission Senior Medical Advisor Professor John Turnidge said antimicrobial resistance was ‘one of the most significant challenges for the delivery of safe, high-quality health services, and has a direct impact on patient care and patient outcomes’.
‘AURA 2017 provides clinicians and health policy makers across Australia with the data and information needed to develop and better target strategies which will prevent and contain resistance, ultimately benefiting patients in our hospitals, and residents in the community and aged care homes,’ Professor Turnidge said.
‘Antibiotic resistance is greatly exacerbated through the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Bacterial infections that were once able to be cured with antibiotics are becoming much harder to treat. In 2015, over 30 million prescriptions for antimicrobials were dispensed in the Australian community.’
The Australian Government Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, highlighted the importance of the work of the Commission in establishing the AURA Surveillance System as an important element in support of Australia’s First National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.
‘The development of nationally coordinated surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial usage is a key objective of the strategy,’ Professor Murphy said.
‘AURA 2017 and the Commission’s complementary range of reports on antimicrobial use and resistance are all providing valuable data to help clinicians and others to tackle this issue, and to help them and others see which strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance are working best.’
Key findings on antimicrobial use from AURA 2017:
Key findings on antimicrobial resistance from AURA 2017:
Areas for action
AURA 2017 complements three other more detailed reports about antimicrobial resistance recently published by the Commission. These are:
About the Commission
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is an Australian Government agency that leads and coordinates national improvements in the safety and quality of health care based on the best available evidence. By working in partnership with patients, consumers, clinicians, managers, policy makers and healthcare organisations, the Commission aims to ensure that the health system is better informed, supported and organised to deliver safe and high-quality care.
The Commission’s Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia (AURA) Surveillance System has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and supports the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015–19. To develop AURA, the Commission worked collaboratively with established programs and key stakeholders across settings to improve the coverage, capture and quality of existing surveillance programs and data collections, and to identify gaps. These partner programs include: the National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program (NAUSP), the National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS), the Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AGAR); and, Queensland Health OrgTRx. Additional data sources include, but are not limited to, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the Repatriation PBS and NPS MedicineWise. AURA 2017 integrates data from AURA’s partner programs and organisations, and includes participation from all states and territories, and the private sector.