WHO AWaRe classification for antibiotic stewardship: tackling antimicrobial resistance – a descriptive study from an English NHS Foundation Trust prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Issue Date
2023
Authors
Elshenawy, Rasha Abdelsalam
Umaru, Nkiruka
Aslanpour, Zoe
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Research Projects
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Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a silent and rapidly escalating pandemic, presenting a critical challenge to global health security. During the pandemic, this study was undertaken at a NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom to explore antibiotic prescribing trends for respiratory tract infections (RTIs), including pneumonia, and the COVID-19 pandemic across the years 2019 and 2020. This study, guided by the WHO’s AWaRe classification, sought to understand the impact of the pandemic on antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). The research methodology involved a retrospective review of medical records from adults aged 25 and older admitted with RTIs, including pneumonia, in 2019 and 2020. The application of the AWaRe classification enabled a structured description of antibiotic use. The study evaluated antibiotic use in 640 patients with RTIs. Notably, it observed a slight increase in the use of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and a substantial rise in azithromycin prescriptions, highlighting shifts in prescribing trends. Despite these changes, some antibiotics displayed steady consumption rates. These findings highlight the importance of understanding antibiotic use patterns during the AMR threat. The increase in the usage of “Watch” category antibiotics during the pandemic emphasises the urgency of robust AMS measures. The research confirms that incorporating the AWaRe classification in prescribing decisions is crucial for patient safety and combating antibiotic misuse. This study provides essential insights into the changing landscape of antibiotic prescribing during a global health crisis, reinforcing the necessity for ongoing AMS vigilance to effectively address AMR challenges.
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Research Subject Categories::PHARMACY::Other pharmacy
Citation
Elshenawy, RA, Umaru, N & Aslanpour, Z 2023, 'WHO AWaRe Classification for Antibiotic Stewardship: Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance - A Descriptive Study from an English NHS Foundation Trust Prior to and During the COVID-19 Pandemic', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 14, 1298858, pp. 1-8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2023.1298858
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