Association of Exposure to High-risk Antibiotics in Acute Care Hospitals With Multidrug-Resistant Organism Burden in Nursing Homes

JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Feb 1;5(2):e2144959. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.44959.


Importance: Little is known about the contribution of hospital antibiotic prescribing to multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) burden in nursing homes (NHs).

Objectives: To characterize antibiotic exposures across the NH patient's health care continuum (preceding health care exposure and NH stay) and to investigate whether recent antibiotic exposure is associated with MDRO colonization and room environment contamination at NH study enrollment.

Design, setting, and participants: This is a secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study (conducted from 2013-2016) that enrolled NH patients and followed them up for as long as 6 months. The study was conducted in 6 NHs in Michigan among NH patients who were enrolled within 14 days of admission. Clinical metadata abstraction, multi-anatomical site screening, and room environment surveillance for MDROs were conducted at each study visit. Data were analyzed between May 2019 and November 2021.

Exposures: Antibiotic data were abstracted from NH electronic medical records by trained research staff and characterized by class, route, indication, location of therapy initiation, risk for Clostridioides difficile infection (C diffogenic agents), and 2019 World Health Organization Access, Watch, and Reserve (AWARE) antibiotic stewardship framework categories.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcomes were MDRO colonization and MDRO room environment contamination at NH study enrollment, measured using standard microbiology methods. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify whether antibiotic exposure within 60 days was associated with MDRO burden at NH study enrollment. Additionally, antibiotic exposure data were characterized using descriptive statistics.

Results: A total of 642 patients were included (mean [SD] age, 74.7 [12.2] years; 369 [57.5%] women; 402 [62.6%] White; median [IQR] NH days to enrollment, 6.0 [3.0-7.0]). Of these, 422 (65.7%) received 1191 antibiotic exposures: 368 (57.3%) received 971 hospital-associated prescriptions, and 119 (18.5%) received 198 NH-associated prescriptions. Overall, 283 patients (44.1%) received at least 1 C diffogenic agent, and 322 (50.2%) received at least 1 high-risk WHO AWARE antibiotic (watch or reserve agent). More than half of NH patients (364 [56.7%]) and room environments (437 [68.1%]) had MDRO-positive results at enrollment. In multivariable analysis, recent antibiotic exposure was positively associated with baseline MDRO colonization (odds ratio [OR], 1.70; 95% CI, 1.22-2.38) and MDRO environmental contamination (OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 1.17-2.39). Exploratory stratification by C diffogenic agent exposure increased the effect size (MDRO colonization: OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.33-2.96; MDRO environmental contamination: OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.24-2.79). Likewise, exploratory stratification by exposure to high-risk WHO AWARE antibiotics increased the effect size (MDRO colonization: OR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.61-3.36; MDRO environmental contamination: OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.26-2.75).

Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this study suggest that high-risk, hospital-based antibiotics are a potentially high-value target to reduce MDROs in postacute care NHs. This study underscores the potential utility of integrated hospital and NH stewardship programming on regional MDRO epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents