Changes in antibiotic-prescribing practices and carriage of penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae: A controlled intervention trial in rural Alaska.

From 1998 to 2000, 13 rural Alaskan villages (population, 3326) were surveyed annually by nasopharyngeal cultures for Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage. Data regarding antibiotic use for the entire population was abstracted from clinic records. In 1999, education of medical providers and the community about appropriate antibiotic use began in 4 villages; this program was expanded to include all villages in 2000. Antibiotic courses per person decreased by 31% in the initial intervention villages and by 35% in the remaining villages after education (P<.01 for each). Samples were obtained for culture from a mean of 31% of the population each year; 31% carried pneumococcus. No sustained decrease in carriage of penicillin-nonsusceptible strains was observed. When linear regression was used, serotype accounted for 81% of the variance in pneumococcal minimum inhibitory concentrations after the intervention, compared with 7% for antibiotic use. This suggests that reducing the carriage of serotypes associated with antibiotic resistance by use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines may have a greater short-term impact than does decreasing antibiotic use.


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Hennessy TW
Petersen KM
Bruden D
Parkinson AJ
Hurlburt D
Getty M
Schwartz B
Butler JC