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Microbes that never sleep: A multidisciplinary study of the antibiotic resistance management in Sweden
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The hypotheses of this study are that reduction and rational usage of antibiotics reduces development of antibiotic resistance. In Sweden, the trends do not follow this pattern. Despite a decrease in prescriptions of antibiotics, there is an increase in the number of patients infected with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBL) and ESBL selecting for carbapenem-resistance (ESBLCARBA). This study aims to study factors affecting antibiotic resistance management. An additional aim is to use a multidisciplinary approach for a subject that has mostly been studied with quantitative methods. First, linear regressions investigated any possible significant changes of prescription rates in outpatient care, hospital usage of antibiotic groups and antibiotic resistance. After this, nine interviews were conducted with physicians in outpatient care, hospital care and with representatives from the Swedish Strategic Programme for the Rational Use of Antimicrobial Agents and Surveillance of Resistance (Strama), a network working for Swedish prevention against antibiotics resistance. There was a significant decrease in the number of prescriptions of antibiotics in outpatient care among all Swedish counties and a small, but significant increase of antibiotics used in hospitals. The number of patients infected with multidrug resistant bacteria also show a significant increase. The interviews revealed that health care workers in all counties follow the same guidelines and try to be as specific as possible in choosing antibiotics to hit specific bacteria. The respondents suggested migration and extended travelling as explanations to the growing number of cases of multidrug resistant bacteria. Further, two major factors emerged as important for an efficient antibiotic resistance management; Education/knowledge and Discussion. The results indicate a need for further research on rational usage of antibiotics and the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in hospital care, rather than the reduction through prescriptions. The results indicate that rational usage has a bigger impact than reduction. Using a multidisciplinary approach gave a broader perspective on the issue and future studies should see the possibilities of mixing quantitative and qualitative studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, risk theory, infectious disease control
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30623OAI: diva2:949260
Subject / course
Environmental Science
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2016-07-20 Created: 2016-07-18 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and EpidemiologyEnvironmental Sciences

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