Antimicrobial resistance and prescribing for acute respiratory tract infections; where are we now?

  • Raymond O’ConnorEmail author
  • Jane O’Doherty
  • Andrew O’Regan
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The IJMS recently published a review paper conducted by a general practice research group at the University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School that described the global threat of antimicrobial resistance, which is associated with increased consumption of antibiotics [1]. Most antibiotic prescribing takes place in primary care, and the commonest reason for antibiotic prescription in adults is acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI) [1]. One of the most important reasons for antibiotic prescribing is how much doctors think that the patient expects an antibiotic for their ARTI [1]. Further qualitative research on this topic from our department confirms that general practitioners (GPs) believe that high levels of expectation exist in patients presenting with ARTI, especially if they are not entitled to free care and were attending an out of hours (OOH) center [2]. However, a quantitative study conducted by our research group during the same time period investigated...



This study was partly funded by a grant from the Research and Educational Foundation of the Irish College of General Practitioners. Grant number is not specified.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval for the studies quoted in this letter was granted by the Health Service Executive Mid-West Research Ethics Committee. Ethics approval number 068/17.

This article does not contain any studies on animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    O'Connor R, O'Doherty J, O'Regan A, Dunne C.2018 Antibiotic use for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) in primary care; what factors affect prescribing and why is it important? A narrative review. IJMSA. 2018(1863-4362 (Electronic)),Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    O’Doherty J, Leader LFW, O’Regan A, Dunne C, Puthoopparambil SJ, O’Connor R (2019) Over prescribing of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections; a qualitative study to explore Irish general practitioners’ perspectives. BMC Fam Pract 20(1):27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    O’Connor R, O’Doherty J, O’Regan A, O’Neill A, McMahon C, Dunne CP (2019) Medical management of acute upper respiratory infections in an urban primary care out-of-hours facility: cross-sectional study of patient presentations and expectations. BMJ Open 9(2):e025396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Health Service Executive (2014) Report of the expert panel on medical need for medical card eligibility. Health Services Executive, Limerick City. Accessed 19 March 2019

Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Entry Medical SchoolUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

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