Introduction: The increase in the consumption of antibiotics is becoming a significant problem of recent years in Greece. This study focuses in the necessity of antimicrobial stewardship programs in order to reduce antibiotics misuse.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the excessive antibiotics use and the development of antimicrobial resistance, while spotting measures of antibiotic misuse reduction through the implementation of various protocols by health professionals.
Method: A systematic literature review of research articles was performed, using the electronic database Pubmed and search engine Google Scholar. The inclusion criteria were English language, the research methodology, the specific time that the study was conducted (2007-2017). Five hundred and forty-two articles were found and finally 36 research studies were included in the present systematic review covering all of the inclusion criteria.
Results: Mortality in patients with resistant infectious loads is twice as high as patients infected with non-resistant microorganisms. Prolonged hospitalization increases the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Applying empirical therapy is often ineffective on colonized patients with multidrug resistant bacteria.
Conclusion: The developement of antimicrobial resistance seems to be a constant threat for public health, leading to morbidity and mortality increase. Designing and implementing new and better practices is the most effective way for combating the problem. Continuous search for new solutions, combined with communication strategies between all stakeholders could contribute to a proper use of antibiotics, in order to promote and protect public health.
Key-words: antibiotics overuse, antimicrobial resistance, economic consequences, guidelines, hospital acquired infection (HAI), prevention