Systemic antibiotic use among children and adolescents in Germany: a population-based study
ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to comprehensively describe antibiotic use among children and young adolescents in Germany. Outpatient prescriptions of systemic antibiotics to children (<15 years) were analysed using data from four German statutory health insurances for the years 2004 to 2006. Annual prevalence of antibiotic prescriptions was determined using the average number of insured children during the respective year as reference population. Annual antibiotic prescription rates were calculated per 1,000 person years. Both figures were stratified by age (0-4, 5-9 and 10-14 years) and sex. Frequent indications for prescribing were analysed. Annual prevalence of antibiotic prescriptions rose from 35.68 % [95 % confidence intervals (CI), 35.62-35.75] in 2004 to 37.79 % [95 % CI, 37.72-37.86] in 2006. Prescription rates slightly increased by 6.01 % from 668.54 [95 % CI, 667.34-669.72] antibiotic prescriptions per 1,000 person years in 2004 to 708.71 [95 % CI, 707.47-709.95] in 2006. In 2006, prescriptions of broad-spectrum penicillins (25.09 %), second-generation cephalosporins (18.11 %) and narrow-spectrum penicillins (16.45 %) were most frequent. The most common indication for antibiotic prescribing was tonsillitis followed by bronchitis, otitis media, acute upper respiratory infections and scarlet fever. Conclusion: In contrast to other northern European countries, paediatric prescription rates are high in Germany. This and the frequent prescribing of broad spectrum agents for the treatment of mostly viral self-limiting conditions indicate limited adherence to evidence-based practice guidelines in antibiotic prescribing in the German outpatient setting.
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ABSTRACT: The Lab-score, based on the combined determination of procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and urinary dipstick results, has been shown accurate in detecting serious bacterial infections (SBI) in children with fever without source (FWS) on retrospective cohorts. We aimed to prospectively assess the utility of the Lab-score in safely decreasing antibiotic prescriptions in children with FWS and to determine its diagnostic characteristics compared to common SBI biomarkers. Randomized controlled trial in children 7 days to 36 months old with FWS, allocated either to the Lab-score group (Lab-score reported, blinded WBC count) or to the control group (WBC, bands and C-reactive protein determined, blinded procalcitonin and Lab-score), followed up until recovery. Demographic data, antibiotic prescription rate, admission rate and diagnostic properties of the Lab-score were analyzed. 271 children were analyzed. No statistically significant difference concerning antibiotic prescription rate was observed: 41.2% (54 of 131) in the Lab-score group and 42.1% (59 of 140) in the control group (p = 1.000). If recommendations based on the Lab-score had been strictly applied, a hypothetical 30.6% treatment rate would have been encountered, compared to the overall 41.7% observed rate (p = 0.0095). A Lab-score ≥3 showed the following characteristics: sensitivity 85.1% (95% CI: 76.5-93.6%), specificity 87.3% (95% CI: 82.7-91.8%), positive predictive value 68.7% (95% CI: 58.7-78.7%), negative predictive value 94.1% (95% CI: 91.5-97.9%), positive and negative likelihood ratios: 6.68 and 0.17 respectively. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was best for the Lab-score (0.911, 95% CI: 0.871-0.950). No difference regarding antibiotic treatment rate was observed when using the Lab-score, due to lack of adherence to the related recommendations. However, if strictly followed, a significant 26.5% reduction of antibiotic prescriptions would have been encountered. Medical education needs to be reinforced in order to observe rather than treat low-risk well-appearing children with FWS. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02179398.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115061. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115061
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ABSTRACT: We aimed to describe the use of systemic antibiotics among children in Denmark.The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 08/2014; DOI:10.1097/INF.0000000000000519
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ABSTRACT: Background: Infants, toddlers, and children of primary-school age without any special risk factors generally have three to ten febrile respiratory infections per year. Most such infections are of viral origin and self-limiting, but viral infection is often hard to distinguish from bacterial infection. The use of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect viruses in respiratory secretions is potentially beneficial, as it might help physicians avoid giving antibiotics unnecessarily. Methods: This article is based on a selective review of the literature and on the findings of the authors' own investigations. Results: Multiplex PCR is a highly sensitive, highly specific test for the detection of viral nucleic acids in respiratory secretions. If PCR reveals the presence of RNA derived from respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus, parainfluenza virus, or influenza virus, then an acute infection caused by the corresponding pathogen is probably present, and further treatment can be given accordingly. On the other hand, the nucleic acids of adeno-, boca-, rhino-or coronaviruses can be found in relatively trivial infections as well as in asymptomatic persons, probably reflecting either a prior infection or a current subclinical one. For children in particular, upper respiratory infections are so common in the winter months that acute and prior infections with these pathogens cannot be distinguished by multiplex PCR. The use of multiplex PCR in children has not been shown to shorten hospital stays or to lessen antibiotic consumption or overall cost. Conclusion: The detectability of viral nucleic acids is an important contribution to the diagnostic assessment of children with severe respiratory infection. For these highly sensitive diagnostic tests to be used optimally, primary viral infections must be distinguished from bacterial superinfections.Deutsches Ärzteblatt International 09/2014; 111(38):639-45. DOI:10.3238/arztebl.2014.0639