Antibiotic Strategies in the Era of Multidrug Resistance

George Karam; Jean Chastre; Mark H. Wilcox; Jean-Louis Vincent


Crit Care. 2016;20(136) 

In This Article


The rapid emergence and dissemination of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms in ICUs worldwide threaten adequate antibiotic coverage of infected patients in this environment. The causes of this problem are multifactorial, but the core issues are clear: the emergence of antibiotic resistance is highly correlated with selective pressure resulting from inappropriate use of these drugs. Because a significant increase in mortality is observed when antibiotic therapy is delayed in infected ICU patients, initial therapy should be broad enough to cover all likely pathogens. Receipt of unnecessary prolonged broad-spectrum antibiotics, however, should be avoided. Local microbiologic data are extremely important to predict the type of resistance that may be present for specific causative bacteria, as is prior antibiotic exposure, and antibiotic choices should thus be made at an individual patient level.