Antimicrobial use and resistance in eight US hospitals: complexities of analysis and modeling. Intensive Care Antimicrobial Resistance Epidemiology Project and National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System Hospitals

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1998 Jun;19(6):388-94. doi: 10.1086/647837.


Objective: To evaluate the relation between antimicrobial use and resistance in intensive-care unit (ICU) and non-ICU inpatient areas in eight US hospitals.

Methods: We determined antimicrobial use in terms of defined daily doses, antimicrobial-use density (defined daily doses/1,000 patient days), and percentage resistance for five antimicrobial-organism combinations in the ICU and non-ICU inpatient areas of eight US hospitals participating in project Intensive Care Antimicrobial Resistance Epidemiology.

Results: Antimicrobial resistance and use varied tremendously among the eight hospitals. Antimicrobial resistance among these five nosocomial pathogens was significantly higher within the inpatient setting of these hospitals, compared with the outpatient setting. One hospital consistently ranked highest for use of all classes of antimicrobials examined. High antimicrobial use was not associated necessarily with high resistance for a particular antimicrobial-organism pair.

Conclusion: Antimicrobial use varied significantly across these hospitals, but generally was higher in ICUs. These results suggest that concomitant surveillance of both antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use is helpful in interpreting antimicrobial resistance in a hospital or ICU and that further analysis is required to determine the role of variables other than antimicrobial use in a statistical model for predicting antimicrobial resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospital Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Models, Statistical
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents