May 24, 2024

Age and Gender Influence on Antimicrobial Resistance in Patients

A recent study published in PLOS Medicine by Gwenan Knight and her team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK has revealed that a patient’s age, gender, and location are factors linked to the likelihood of having a bloodstream infection resistant to antibiotics.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a significant threat to global public health, making it crucial to understand how resistance levels vary with age and gender. Factors such as antibiotic usage, changes in immune function, and exposure to high-risk environments are all known to influence resistance levels.

The study analyzed data from routine surveillance conducted between 2015 and 2019 on bloodstream infections in 944,520 individuals across 29 European countries. By examining bacterial species isolated and the antibiotics used for treatment, the researchers identified distinct patterns in resistance prevalence across different age groups and genders.

For example, the occurrence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) increased with age, while aminopenicillin resistance in Escherichia coli decreased with age.

Interestingly, some antimicrobial resistance profiles peaked in middle age, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa showing higher resistance to several antibiotics around 30 years of age. Additionally, the incidence of bloodstream infections due to E. coli peaked between ages 15 and 40 for women. Men, on the other hand, generally had a higher risk of antimicrobial resistance compared to women.

The researchers noted that these findings reveal gaps in understanding the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance that cannot be explained solely by known patterns of antibiotic exposure and healthcare contact. They suggest that tailored interventions considering age and gender differences in resistance prevalence could help reduce the burden of antimicrobial resistance.

The study underscores the need for broader data sources to elucidate the cultural and natural history drivers contributing to the global patterns of antimicrobial resistance. Understanding these factors is crucial in combating the increasing rates of AMR and safeguarding public health.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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