Advances in Therapy

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 854–865 | Cite as

The Impact of Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in Combating Quinolone Resistance: A Systematic Review and Recommendations for More Efficient Interventions

  • Vasiliki Pitiriga
  • Georgia Vrioni
  • George Saroglou
  • Athanasios TsakrisEmail author


Quinolones are among the most commonly prescribed antibiotics worldwide. A clear relationship has been demonstrated between excessive quinolone use and the steady increase in the incidence of quinolone-resistant bacterial pathogens, both in hospital and community sites. In addition, exposure to quinolones has been associated with colonization and infection with healthcare-associated pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile in hospitalized patients. Therefore, the management of quinolone prescribing in hospitals through antibiotic stewardship programs is considered crucial. Although suggestions have been made by previous studies on the positive impact of stewardship programs concerning the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria at hospital level, the association of quinolone-targeted interventions with reduction of quinolone resistance is vague. The purpose of this article was to evaluate the impact of stewardship interventions on quinolone resistance rates and healthcare-associated infections, through a literature review using systematic methods to identify and select the appropriate studies. Recommendations for improvements in quinolone-targeted stewardship programs are also proposed. Efforts in battling quinolone resistance should combine various interventions such as restriction formulary policies, prospective audits with feedback to prescribers, infection prevention and control measures, prompt detection of low-level resistance, educational programs, and guidelines for optimal quinolone usage. However, the effectiveness of such strategies should be assessed by properly designed and conducted clinical trials. Finally, novel approaches in diagnostic stewardship for rapidly detecting bacterial resistance, including PCR-based techniques, mass spectrometry, microarrays, and whole-genome sequencing as well as the prompt investigation on the clonality of quinolone-resistant strains, will strengthen our ability to personalize quinolone prescribing to individual patients.


Antimicrobial stewardship program Feedback Infection control Infectious diseases Preauthorization Prospective audit Quinolones Resistance Restrictive policies 



No funding or sponsorship was received for this study or publication of this article. All named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this manuscript, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given final approval for the version to be published.


Vasiliki Pitiriga, Georgia Vrioni, George Saroglou, and Athanasios Tsakris have no conflicts of interest.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

This article is based on previously conducted studies and does not involve any new studies of human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Healthcare 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasiliki Pitiriga
    • 1
  • Georgia Vrioni
    • 1
  • George Saroglou
    • 2
  • Athanasios Tsakris
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Metropolitan General HospitalPiraeusGreece

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