Background: Although there is consistent evidence of a link between antibiotic use and increasing antimicrobial resistance in the community, inappropriate use of antimicrobials continues to be a global problem.
Objective: To describe knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Latino community members in upper Manhattan regarding use of antibiotics.
Methods: Written questionnaires and eight focus groups comprised of Hispanic community members (three groups), bodega employees, and healthcare providers (one group) in a Latino neighborhood in New York City.
Results: There were major knowledge deficits regarding use of antibiotics. Informants reported taking antibiotics for pain or other conditions as well as for symptoms of infection. Antibiotics were frequently obtained from bodegas without prescription, but generally only for adults, not for children.
Discussion: Interventions to improve antibiotic use that are focused on the formal healthcare system (e.g., clinicians, pharmacists, persons with health insurance) are unlikely to be effective with recently immigrated Latino community members. Successful interventions for this population should include targeted messages to bodega employees, community organizations, and children and their parents.