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Antibiotic susceptibility of urine culture specimens in Ontario: a population-based cohort study


Background — Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance is essential to mitigate its impact on population health and inform local empiric treatment practices. Our aims were to evaluate urine culture specimen susceptibility from a range of diverse settings and describe antibiotic susceptibility across all organisms and compare susceptibilities to that of Escherichia coli alone.

— In this descriptive cohort study, we measured the prevalence of organisms in urine culture specimens using linked province-wide administrative databases. Using positive urine cultures collected in Ontario between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017, we measured susceptibility to 6 classes of antibiotics using a weighted antibiogram for all organisms compared with E. coli alone.

— We included 689 497 cultures derived from 569 399 patients and 879 778 test orders for specimens. For all organisms, the rates of susceptibility in the outpatient, inpatient and long-term care settings were 49.3%, 42.8% and 39.2%, respectively, for ampicillin; 83.1%, 72.7% and 69.7%, respectively, for nitrofurantoin; 80.3%, 64.8% and 73.1%, respectively, for trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole; 87.2%, 74.1% and 66.2%, respectively, for ciprofloxacin; 90.6%, 73.6% and 85.1%, respectively, for aminoglycosides; and 82.6%, 57.5% and 73.5%, respectively, for cefazolin. We found resistance to 3 or more antibiotic classes in 20.6% of episodes for all organisms compared with 14.0% for E. coli alone. The average absolute difference in antibiotic susceptibility between all organisms and E. coli across all drugs was lowest in the outpatient setting (6.2%) and highest in the inpatient setting (14.6%).

— In this study, urinary organism prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility varied across healthcare settings and patient populations, with implications for both antimicrobial resistance surveillance and clinical decision-making. Weighted antibiograms may be most useful for guiding empiric treatment of urinary infections in inpatient settings where the diversity of infectious organisms is higher than in the community.



Marchand-Austin A, Lee SM, Langford BJ, Daneman N, MacFadden DR, Diong C, Schwartz KL, Allen VG, Johnstone J, Patel SN, Garber GE, Brown KA. CMAJ Open. 2022; 10(4):E1044-51.

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