Emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) is an urgent social and public health problem. Here, we carried out an epidemiological survey to clarify the geographical characteristics and factors influencing the prevalence of MDRO. Data on the prevalence of MDRO in 47 prefectures in Japan were extracted from the Japanese Nosocomial Infection Surveillance, a nationwide database for infection control. Potential factors for MDRO were analyzed using data selected from the pharmacological, medical service, infection control, environmental, social, and food-related categories, based on the characteristics of each organism and the correlations between them and MDRO prevalence. Statistical data for potential factors were obtained from public domains. The use of antibiotics was found to be correlated with the prevalence of penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, 3rd-generation cephalosporin- and fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Negative correlation between the consumption of food such as kelp and fermented soybeans that facilitate the growth of lactic acid bacteria and the prevalence of 3rd-generation cephalosporin- and fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli suggested an association between the intestinal microflora and MDRO colonization. In addition to the use of antibiotics, lifestyle, food culture, and social factors such as tobacco smoking, average atmospheric temperature, prevalence of three-generation households, ratio of elderly population, average duration of tourist stay, chicken and fermented soybean consumption, and the competency of healthcare services may also affect MDRO prevalence.
Keywords: prefectures; prevalence; spread.