Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Antimicrobial Stewardship Activities/Programs in the United Kingdom

Diane Ashiru-Oredope, Frances Kerr, Stephen Hughes, Jonathan Urch, Marisa Lanzman, Ting Yau, Alison Cockburn, Rakhee Patel, Adel Sheikh, Cairine Gormley, Aneeka Chavda, Tejal Vaghela, Ceri Phillips, Nicholas Reid, Aaron Brady

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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Since first identified in late 2019, the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) and the resulting coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has overwhelmed healthcare systems worldwide, often diverting key resources in a bid to meet unprecedented challenges. To measure its impact on national antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activities, a questionnaire was designed and disseminated to antimicrobialstewardship leads in the United Kingdom (UK). Most respondents reported a reduction in AMS activity with 64% (61/95) reporting that COVID-19 had a negative impact on routine AMS activities. Activities reported to have been negatively affected by the pandemic include audit, quality improvement initiatives, education, AMS meetings, and multidisciplinary working including ward rounds. However, positive outcomes were also identified, with technology being increasingly used as a tool to facilitate stewardship e.g., virtual meetings and ward rounds and increased the acceptance of using procalcitonin tests to distinguish between viral and bacterial infections. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the AMS activities undertaken across the UK. The long-term impact of the reduced AMS activities on incidence of AMR are not yet known. The legacy of innovation, use of technology, and increased collaboration from the pandemic could strengthen AMS in the post-pandemic era and presents opportunities for further development of AMS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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