Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Ron Polk

Second Advisor

Amy Pakyz


Background: Gram-negative resistance is a growing problem worldwide. It is generally believed that rates of resistant bacteria within a hospital are a function of antibiotic use, resistant organisms brought into the hospital, infection control efforts, and underlying severity of patient illness. The relative contribution of each to a particular resistance phenotype is unclear. P. aeruginosa is responsible for many hospital acquired infections and it may become resistant to carbapenems. In addition, newer threats to the future utility of the carbapenems are carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae Purpose: To determine if there is an association between the volume and composition of antibiotic use, geography, severity of illness and rates of carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae. Methods: This is a retrospective ecological longitudinal investigation within the University HealthSystem Consortium affiliated academic medical centers. Antibiotic use data between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2009 were obtained from billing records and reported as days of therapy per 1000 patient days (DOT/1000 PD), in addition to hospital characteristics (e.g. geographical location, bed size, case mix index). “Whole house” antibiograms were obtained to determine rates and proportions of carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (CR-PA) and carbapenem resistant K. pneumoniae (CR-KP). Also, CR-KP isolation was generated as a binary outcome. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to model CR-KP and CR-PA. Results: CR-KP rates (1000PDs) increased from 0.07 in 2006 to 0.15 in 2009 (P= 0.0118) and CR-KP proportions increased from 1.3% in 2006 to 3.1% in 2009 (0.0003) within 40 hospitals over 2006-2009. However, CR-PA rates and proportions were stable over the same period. Geographical location, carbapenems use, and antipseudomonal penicillins use were significantly associated with CR-KP isolation. Thus, for every ten DOT/1000 PDs increase in carbapenem use, the odds of CR-KP isolation increased by 42% (P=0.0149). In contrast, for every ten DOT/1000 PDs increase in antipseudomonal penicillin use, the odds of CR-KP isolation decreased by 14%. However, there was no significant model to explain CR-PA rates and proportions. Conclusion: Carbapenems, antipseudomonal penicillins, and geographical location were identified as risk factors associated with CR-KP isolation. These findings emphasize the challenges associated with the treatment of multidrug- gram-negative bacteria.


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