Developing a framework for estimating the burden of antimicrobial resistance in Australia

Teresa Wozniak 1, Emily Bailey 1, Nicholas Graves 1, Kate Halton 1

Centre for Research Excellence in Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections, QUT, Sydney, NSW, Australia


Introduction:Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) rates are increasing in Australia. To address this, governments are investing in interventions such as surveillance, stewardship and novel antimicrobials. In the context of increasing healthcare costs,Australia is faced with setting priorities for advancement in health services interventions.Key to identifying efficient approaches, is evidence on the magnitude of AMR rates and good estimates of the economic burden associated with infection.

Methods:We present the development of an economic framework designed to provide a robust estimate of the burden of AMR in the tertiary healthcare sector in Australia.Development will be a 4 stage process.First we will identify key organisms and sites of infection where the emergence of resistance represents a threat to human health.Second, estimates of the prevalence will be made based on Australian data.Third, the health impact of infections will be estimated based on evidence from the international literature. Lastly, we will combine these data to provide an estimate of the economic cost of AMR.

Results:The framework focuses on the key organisms – E.coli, K.pneumonia, P.aeruginosa, N.gonorrhoea, E.faecium, S.auerus, M.tuberculosis. Sites of infection are bloodstream, urinary tract, surgical site and where appropriate respiratory tract. Prevalence estimates will be based on Queensland pathology data combined with published national data. Synthesis of epidemiological literature provides estimates for the morbidity and mortality associated with infection.
Conclusion:This framework represents a transparent way of estimating the burden of disease associated with AMR in Australia. It also demonstrates current gaps and the necessary data needed to support monitoring of the impact of AMR strategies.

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