Antibiotic usage in Chinese children: a point prevalence survey

Jiao-Sheng Zhang, Gang Liu, Wen-Shuang Zhang, Hai-Yan Shi, Gen Lu, Chang-An Zhao, Chang-Chong Li, Yan-Qi Li, Ya-Nan Shao, Dai-Yin Tian, Ming-Jie Ding, Chun-Yan Li, Li-Juan Luo, Xiao-Yan Dong, Ping Jin, Ping Wang, Chun-Mei Zhu, Chuan-Qing Wang, Yue-Jie Zheng, Ji-Kui DengMike Sharland, Ying-Fen Hsia, Kun-Ling Shen, Yong-Hong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Children as a population have high antimicrobial prescribing rates which may lead to high resistance of bacteria according to data from some single-center surveys of antibiotic prescribing rates in China. The acquirement of baseline data of antibiotic prescribing is the basis of developing intervention strategies on inappropriate antimicrobial prescriptions. Few studies show clearly the pattern and detailed information on classes of antibiotics and distribution of indications of antibiotic prescriptions in children in China. This study aims to assess the antibiotic prescribing patterns among children and neonates hospitalized in 18 hospitals in China.

METHODS: A 24-hour point prevalence survey on antimicrobial prescribing was conducted in hospitalized neonates and children in China from December 1st, 2016 to February 28th, 2017. Information on the antibiotic use of patients under 18 years of age who were administered one or more on-going antibiotics in the selected wards over a 24-hour period was collected. These data were submitted to the GARPEC (Global Antimicrobial Resistance, Prescribing and Efficacy in Children and Neonates) web-based application ( ). For statistical analysis, Microsoft Excel 2007 and SPSS 22.0 were used.

RESULTS: The antibiotic data were collected in 35 wards in 18 hospitals from 9 provinces. In total, 67.76% (975/1439) of the patients (n = 1439) were given at least one antibiotic, including 58.1% (173/298) of neonates (n = 298) and 70.3% (802/1141) of children (n = 1141). In neonates, the three most frequently prescribed antibiotics were third-generation cephalosporins (41.7%), penicillins plus enzyme inhibitor (23.8%), and carbapenems (11.2%). In children, the three most frequently prescribed antibiotics were third-generation cephalosporins (35.5%), macrolides (23.2%), and penicillins plus enzyme inhibitors (15.9%). The most common indication for antibiotics was proven or probable bacterial lower respiratory tract infection (30.9% in neonates and 66.6% in children).

CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics are commonly prescribed in the Chinese children population. It is likely that the third-generation cephalosporins and macrolides are currently overused in Chinese children. Efforts must be made to ensure safe and appropriate antibiotic prescribing to reduce and prevent the future development of antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalWorld journal of pediatrics : WJP
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2018


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Drug Utilization/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inappropriate Prescribing/statistics & numerical data
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment


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