European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 171, Issue 5, pp 767–777 | Cite as

Social-economic factors and irrational antibiotic use as reasons for antibiotic resistance of bacteria causing common childhood infections in primary healthcare

  • Katarina Ilić
  • Emil Jakovljević
  • Vesna Škodrić-Trifunović


The most prevalent childhood bacterial infections in primary healthcare are respiratory, gastrointestinal and urogenital infections. The main aim of this paper was to consider factors (socio-economic factors and irrational antibiotic use) that contribute to the development of bacterial resistance, as well as measures that resulted in a reduction of this problem. Computerized search through the Medline of published articles on antibiotic resistance from 1996 to 2011 in English or Serbian was completed in August 2011. Combinations of used terms were antimicrobial/antibacterial/antibiotic and resistance/susceptibility in pediatric/children, and Streptococcus pneumoniae/Streptococci/Haemophilus influenzae/Salmonellae/Escherichia coli/Shigella/Staphylococcus aureus as well as antibiotics/antimicrobials/antibacterials and consumption/utilization/use. In many developing countries, antibiotic dispensing and its use in medicine, cattle breeding and agriculture are inadequately regulated, or existing laws are not being appropriately implemented. In addition, human travel contributes to antimicrobial drug resistance around the world. All of these factors have led to a very high level of bacterial resistance. On the contrary, in countries with a clearly defined and implemented legal framework concerning antibiotic prescribing, dispensing and utilization, the use of antibiotics is under constant surveillance. That resulted in a significantly lower antibacterial resistance. In conclusion, bacterial resistance could be reduced by the implementation of systemic and long-term measures at a country level as well as at all levels of healthcare. In order to reduce bacterial resistance, antibiotic use needs to be precisely regulated, and regulations should be coherent with practice. The international community must have a more active role in solving this global problem.


Bacterial infections Children Antibacterial resistance Antibiotic use 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katarina Ilić
    • 1
  • Emil Jakovljević
    • 1
  • Vesna Škodrić-Trifunović
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, School of PharmacyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeRepublic of Serbia
  2. 2.Clinic for PulmonologyClinical Centre of SerbiaBelgradeRepublic of Serbia

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