Point prevalence survey of antimicrobial use and healthcare-associated infections in Belgian acute care hospitals: results of the Global-PPS and ECDC-PPS 2017

Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2020 Jan 13;9(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s13756-019-0663-7. eCollection 2020.


Background: The point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial use organized by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC-PPS) and the Global Point Prevalence Survey of antimicrobial consumption (Global-PPS) were simultaneously performed in Belgian acute care hospitals in 2017.

Methods: Belgian acute care hospitals were invited to participate in either the ECDC or Global-PPS. Hospital/ward/patient-level data were collected between September-December 2017. All patients present in the wards at 8 a.m. on the day of the PPS were included. The data of the ECDC and Global-PPS on antimicrobial consumption were pooled. Detailed data on HAIs were analysed for ECDC-PPS.

Results: Overall, 110 Belgian acute care hospital sites participated in the ECDC and Global-PPS (countrywide participation rate: 81.4%, 28,007 patients). Overall, a crude prevalence of patients with at least one antimicrobial of 27.1% (95% confidence interval (CI) 26.5-27.6%) was found. The most frequently reported indications were pneumonia (23.2%), urinary tract infections (15.2%) and skin and soft tissue infections (11.9%). The reason for antimicrobial use was recorded for 81.9% of the prescriptions, a stop/review date for 40.8% and compliance with local antibiotic guidelines for 76.6%. In the ECDC-PPS, the crude prevalence of patients with at least one HAI was 7.3% (95%CI 6.8-7.7%). Most frequently reported HAIs were pneumonia (21.6%) and urinary tract infections (21.3%).

Conclusions: HAI and antimicrobial use prevalence remained stable in comparison with the previous PPS (7.1% and 27.4% in 2011 and 2015, respectively). Belgian hospitals should be further stimulated to set local targets to improve antibiotic prescribing and reduce HAI.

Keywords: Acute care hospitals; Antimicrobial consumption; Belgium; Healthcare-associated infections; Point prevalence survey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Drug Utilization Review / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents