Antimicrobial resistance in Canada.

CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne

PubMedID: 12406948

Conly J. Antimicrobial resistance in Canada. CMAJ. 2002;167(8):885-91.
Antibiotic resistance has increased rapidly during the last decade, creating a serious threat to the treatment of infectious diseases. Canada is no exception to this worldwide phenomenon. Data from the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program have revealed that the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, as a proportion of S. aureus isolates, increased from 1% in 1995 to 8% by the end of 2000, and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus has been documented in all 10 provinces since the first reported outbreak in 1995. The prevalence of nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae in Canada in 2000 was found to be 12%. Human antimicrobial prescriptions, adjusted for differences in the population, declined 11% based on the total number of prescriptions dispensed between 1995 and 2000. There was also a 21% decrease in beta-lactam prescriptions during this same period. These data suggest that systematic efforts to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antimicrobials to outpatients in Canada, beginning after a national consensus conference in 1997, may be having an impact. There is, however, still a need for continued concerted efforts on a national, provincial and regional level to quell the rising tide of antibiotic resistance.