Cultural and Socioeconomic Determinants of Antibiotic Use

  • Stephan Harbarth
  • Dominique L. Monnet


Widespread antimicrobial resistance among bacterial pathogens has compromised traditional therapy with narrow-spectrum antibiotics and may result in adverse outcomes. Although no region in the world has been excluded from the inexorable spread of increasingly resistant bacteria, large disparities in the global epidemiology of antibiotic resistance can be observed.1 The reasons for the uneven geographic distribution of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms are not fully understood. A variety of factors are responsible for this, but the selective pressure exerted by inappropriately used antibiotics is likely the most important. Antibiotic use may differ between and within countries. For example, in 2002, antibiotic consumption was three times higher in France than in the Netherlands, with other European countries reporting a wide range of antibiotic consumption rates between these extreme values.


Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance Antibiotic Consumption Emerg Infect Socioeconomic Determinant 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Harbarth
    • 1
  • Dominique L. Monnet
    • 2
  1. 1.Infection Control ProgramUniversity Hospitals of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.National Center for Antimicrobials and Infection ControlStatens Serum InstitutCopenhagenDenmark

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