The 2018 Global Point Prevalence Survey of antimicrobial consumption and resistance in 47 Canadian hospitals: a cross-sectional survey

CMAJ Open. 2021 Dec 21;9(4):E1242-E1251. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20200274. Print 2021 Oct-Dec.


Background: Patient-level surveillance of antimicrobial use (AMU) in Canadian hospitals empowers the reduction of inappropriate AMU and was piloted in 2017 among 14 hospitals in Canada. We aimed to describe AMU on the basis of patient-level data in Canadian hospitals in 2018 in terms of antimicrobial prescribing prevalence and proportions, antimicrobial indications, and agent selection in medical, surgical and intensive care wards.

Methods: Canadian adult, pediatric and neonatal hospitals were invited to participate in the standardized web-based cross-sectional Global Point Prevalence Survey of Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance (Global-PPS) conducted in 2018. An identified site administrator assigned all wards admitting inpatients to specific surveyors. A physician, pharmacist or nurse with infectious disease training performed the survey. The primary outcomes were point prevalence rates for AMU over the study period regarding prescriptions, indications and agent selection in medical, surgical and intensive care wards. The secondary outcomes were AMU for resistant organisms and practice appropriateness evaluated on the basis of quality indicators. Antimicrobial consumption is presented in terms of prevalence and proportions.

Results: Forty-seven of 118 (39.8%) hospitals participated in the survey; 9 hospitals were primary care centres, 15 were secondary care centres and 23 were tertiary or specialized care centres. Of 13 272 patients included, 33.5% (n = 4447) received a total of 6525 antimicrobials. Overall, 74.1% (4832/6525) of antimicrobials were for therapeutic use, 12.6% (n = 825) were for medical prophylaxis, 8.9% (n = 578) were for surgical prophylaxis, 2.2% (n = 143) were for other use and 2.3% (n = 147) were for unidentified reasons. A diagnosis or indication was documented in the patient's file at the initiation for 87.3% (n = 5699) of antimicrobials; 62.9% (n = 4106) of antimicrobials had a stop or review date; and 72.0% (n = 4697) of prescriptions were guided by local guidelines.

Interpretation: Overall, three-quarters of AMU was for therapeutic use across participating hospitals. Canadian hospitals should be further incentivized to create and adapt local guidelines on the basis of recent antimicrobial resistance data.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship / statistics & numerical data*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia / microbiology
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents