Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia (AURA): New Report Findings

Prof John Turnidge1, Kim Stewart1, Jan Bell1

Australian Commission On Safety And Quality In Health Care, Sydney, NSW, Australia


Introduction: AURA 2016: First Australian report on antimicrobial use and resistance in human health contains data on antimicrobial use (AU) in the community, hospitals and residential aged care facilities; key emerging issues for antimicrobial resistance (AMR); and a comparison of Australia’s situation with other countries.

Methods: To develop AURA, the Commission worked collaboratively with established programs and key stakeholders to bring together knowledge, expertise and existing data collections to enhance the coverage, capacity and accessibility to surveillance data; and to identify gaps.

AURA 2016 consolidates the information arising from these sources, describes key emerging issues for AU and AMR in Australia, draws on comparisons with other countries undertaking surveillance, and provides commentary on the relationship between select organisms and antimicrobials.

Results: Some key findings from AURA 2016:

• Very high antimicrobial use in the Australian community
– High rates of prescribing for conditions where antimicrobials are seldom indicated

• Moderate use of antimicrobials in Australian hospitals
– About 30% of that use is inappropriate and/or non-compliant with guidelines

• Low rates of resistance in key Gram-negative organisms
– Low rates of ESBL-producers and fluoroquinolone resistance

• High rates of resistance in key Gram-positive organisms
– S. aureus (MRSA) increasing in the community
– E. faecium (VRE) increasing in hospitals

• Few resistance problems in other organisms

Conclusions: AURA 2016 sets a baseline that will allow trends for AU and AMR to be monitored over time and highlights areas where future work will inform action to prevent the spread of AMR.

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