5 years ago

Children with respiratory tract infections in Swedish primary care; prevalence of antibiotic resistance in common respiratory tract pathogens and relation to antibiotic consumption

Katarina Hedin, Mia Tyrstrup, Sigvard Mölstad, Eva Melander, Anders Beckman



The majority of antibiotics consumed in developed countries are prescribed in primary care. However, little is known about resistance levels in the primary care population.


Nasopharyngeal cultures were obtained from children, 0-10 years of age, seeking care at their Primary Health Care Centre with symptoms of respiratory tract infection. Parental questionnaires were used to retrieve information about the child’s previous antibiotic consumption.


Cultures from 340 children were gathered. The level of resistant Haemophilus influenzae was low and the prevalence of penicillin non-susceptible pneumococci (PNSP MIC ≥ 0.125 mg/L) was 6% compared to 10% (p = 0.31) in corresponding cultures from children diagnosed at the local clinical microbiology laboratory. Antibiotic treatment within the previous 4 weeks predisposed for resistant bacteria in the nasopharynx, OR: 3.08, CI 95% (1.13-8.42).


Low prevalence of PNSP supports the use of phenoxymethylpenicillin as empirical treatment for childhood upper respiratory tract infections attending primary care in our setting. It is important that studies on resistance are performed in primary care populations to evaluate data from microbiological laboratories. Recent antibiotic treatment increases risk of bacterial resistance in children and continuous work to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing should be prioritised.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12879-017-2703-3

DOI: 10.1186/s12879-017-2703-3

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