The determinants of the antibiotic resistance process
Beatriz Espinosa Franco1, Marina Altagracia Martínez2, Martha A Sánchez Rodríguez1, Albert I Wertheimer3
1Facultad de Estudios Superiores Zaragoza (UNAM), Mexico; 2Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Xochimilco, Mexico; 3Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Background: The use of antibiotic drugs triggers a complex interaction involving many biological, sociological, and psychological determinants. Resistance to antibiotics is a serious worldwide problem which is increasing and has implications for morbidity, mortality, and health care both in hospitals and in the community.
Objectives: To analyze current research on the determinants of antibiotic resistance and comprehensively review the main factors in the process of resistance in order to aid our understanding and assessment of this problem.
Methods: We conducted a MedLine search using the key words “determinants”, “antibiotic”, and “antibiotic resistance” to identify publications between 1995 and 2007 on the determinants of antibiotic resistance. Publications that did not address the determinants of antibiotic resistance were excluded.
Results: The process and determinants of antibiotic resistance are described, beginning with the development of antibiotics, resistance and the mechanisms of resistance, sociocultural determinants of resistance, the consequences of antibiotic resistance, and alternative measures proposed to combat antibiotic resistance.
Conclusions: Analysis of the published literature identified the main determinants of antibiotic resistance as irrational use of antibiotics in humans and animal species, insufficient patient education when antibiotics are prescribed, lack of guidelines for treatment and control of infections, lack of scientific information for physicians on the rational use of antibiotics, and lack of official government policy on the rational use of antibiotics in public and private hospitals.
Keywords: antibiotic drug resistance, determinants, social-biological
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