Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 27318624
Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents 2016 Jul;48(1):27-32
Antibiotic resistance is a global issue. Risk factors specific to low-income countries (LICs), including non-prescribed antibiotic use, place them at risk for the emergence of resistance and make them important targets for reducing the burden of resistance worldwide. Responding to this threat in LICs means first having access to appropriate antibiotic consumption data. A PubMed search was conducted for studies examining antibiotic consumption in the community in LICs. For the articles included in the analysis, the methodologies used, type of data gathered and methodological appropriateness in responding to specific LIC data needs were noted. Of the 487 articles identified by the search strategy, 27 were retained for final analysis. Four main investigative methods were identified, including pharmacy/hospital document reviews, the simulated client method, observed prescribing encounters/patient exit interviews and community surveys. Observed encounters and exit interviews are well adapted to answering a number of important questions surrounding antibiotic consumption but may include bias and miss some sources of non-prescribed antibiotics. Community surveys are the only approach able to fully account for non-prescribed antibiotics and should be used as the first step in an integrative approach towards antibiotic consumption measurement and monitoring in LICs. Antibiotic consumption data needed for programmes to control use must take into account the LIC context. An integrated and adaptive approach beginning with community surveys responds to the various data needs and difficulties of LIC contexts and may help facilitate the investigation and optimisation of antibiotic consumption in these settings.