The relationship between antimicrobial resistance and patient outcomes: mortality, length of hospital stay, and health care costs

Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Jan 15;42 Suppl 2:S82-9. doi: 10.1086/499406.


There is an association between the development of antimicrobial resistance in Staphylococcus aureus, enterococci, and gram-negative bacilli and increases in mortality, morbidity, length of hospitalization, and cost of health care. For many patients, inadequate or delayed therapy and severe underlying disease are primarily responsible for the adverse outcomes of infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant organisms. Patients with infections due to antimicrobial-resistant organisms have higher costs (approximately 6,000-30,000 dollars) than do patients with infections due to antimicrobial-susceptible organisms; the difference in cost is even greater when patients infected with antimicrobial-resistant organisms are compared with patients without infection. Strategies to prevent nosocomial emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant organisms are essential.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / economics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / economics
  • Bacterial Infections / mortality*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents