The discovery of penicillin undoubtedly transformed the management of life-threatening bacterial infections. However, a less comfortable aspect of the antibiotic revolution was that within 10 years, over 80% of patients with acute bronchitis were receiving antibiotics without any evidence of clinical benefit. Antibiotic use inevitably causes collateral damage to the normal human flora and increases the risk of infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and Clostridium difficile. The twin aims of antibiotic stewardship are first to ensure effective treatment for patients with bacterial infection and second to provide convincing evidence and information to educate and support professionals and patients to reduce unnecessary use and minimize collateral damage. We review evidence of progress with these aims in Europe and nationally in Scotland.
- Antibiotic stewardship
- Antimicrobial management team;
- Antimicrobial resistance;
- Behavioral interventions
- Clostridium difficile infection
- Collateral damage
- Near-patient testing