The impact of antimicrobial resistance on health and economic outcomes

Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Jun 1;36(11):1433-7. doi: 10.1086/375081. Epub 2003 May 16.


Despite an increasing prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, the health and economic impact of colonization and infection with these organisms has not been fully elucidated. We explore how antimicrobial resistance can affect patient outcomes by enhancing virulence, causing a delay in the administration of appropriate therapy, and limiting available therapy. Next, we examine the different perspectives held by hospitals, third-party payers, patients, and society on the impact of resistance. Finally, we review methodological issues in designing and assessing studies that address the clinical outcomes for patients infected or colonized with resistant pathogens, including adjustment for important confounding variables, control group selection, and the quantification of economic outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / economics*
  • Bacterial Infections / mortality
  • Cost of Illness
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Hospital Costs
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / economics*
  • Length of Stay
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors