NUI Galway Research on Antibiotic Resistance

By Irish America Staff
December / January 2016

Research by NUI Galway and Oxford University has led to a breakthrough in how antibiotics are prescribed. The initiative to improve the prescribing of antibiotics for urinary tract infections resulted in better-quality prescribing of first-line antibiotics, according to the new research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The study, “Supporting the Improvement and Management of Prescribing for UTIs,” began in 2011 when NUI Galway researchers found that a variety of antibiotics were prescribed by general practitioners for urinary tract infections. As the spread of antibiotic resistance continues, the researchers set out to improve antibiotic prescribing for UTIs in general practice and designed a cluster randomized intervention.

The study involved 71 physicians, 30 general practitioners and 3,500 patients in Galway and Roscommon. Overall, a 20-percent absolute increase in prescribing of antibiotics according to guidelines was observed in the intervention groups. However, general practitioners also increased overall prescribing of antibiotics for urinary tract infection.

The World Health Organization has deemed antibiotic resistance an immediate threat to world health. Overuse and over-prescribing of antibiotics are major contributors to antibiotic-resistant diseases. Urinary tract infections are one of the most common illnesses for which antibiotics are prescribed. Efforts to curb overuse must involve patients, physicians and other health care workers, pharmaceutical companies and policy makers. ♦

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