Objectives: Emergence of multiresistant Gram-negative organisms in intensive care units (ICUs) throughout the world is a concerning problem. Therefore we undertook a study to follow the resistance patterns of the most common clinically isolated Gram-negative organisms within our ICU following an antibiotic stewardship intervention to evaluate whether a reduction in broad-spectrum antibiotics improves local antibiotic resistance patterns.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted over a 7 year period within an ICU at a tertiary teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia. All clinically isolated Gram-negative organisms were identified and extracted from the hospital pathology system. Three monthly antibiograms were created. The pre-interventional period occurred between January 2000 and June 2002 (10 quarters) and the post-interventional period was defined from July 2002 to December 2006 (18 quarters). Segmented linear regression was used to analyse for a difference in the rates of change in susceptibility.
Results: A total of 2838 Gram-negative organisms were isolated from clinical sites from ICU patients during the study period. There was significant improvement in susceptibility of Pseudomonas to imipenem 18.3%/year [95% confidence interval (CI): 4.9-31.6; P = 0.009] and gentamicin 11.6%/year (95% CI: 1.8-21.5; P = 0.02) compared with the pre-intervention trend. Significant changes in the rates of gentamicin and ciprofloxacin susceptibility were also observed in the inducible Enterobacteriaceae group although these were less clinically significant.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates improved antibiotic susceptibility of ICU Gram-negative isolates including Pseudomonas following an intervention aimed at reducing broad-spectrum antibiotics.