Antibiotic resistance amongst healthcare-associated pathogens in China

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2012 Nov;40(5):389-97. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2012.07.009. Epub 2012 Sep 20.


The People's Republic of China, commonly known as China, comprises approximately one-fifth of the world's population. Because of the expanding size and density of its population and the frequent interaction of people with animals, China is a hotspot for the emergence and spread of new microbial threats and is a major contributor to the worldwide infectious disease burden. In recent years, the emergence and rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) generated considerable interest in the Chinese healthcare system and its infection control and prevention measures. This review examines antibiotic misuse and the status of antibiotic resistance in the Chinese healthcare system. China has high rates of antibiotic resistance driven by misuse of these agents in a healthcare system that provides strong incentives for overprescribing and in a country where self-medication is common. Tuberculosis remains a serious problem in China, with a high prevalence of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant strains. Drug resistance amongst nosocomial bacteria has been on a rapid upward trend with a strong inclination towards multidrug resistance. There is a need for effective infection prevention and control measures and strict use of antibiotics in China to control the rise and spread of antibiotic resistance in the country.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / microbiology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Prevalence


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents