National Treatment Guidelines for Antimicrobial Use in Infectious Diseases. 2016 - India
(2016; 64 pages)


Emergence of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens has become a matter of great public health concern. Antimicrobial resistance is well recognized as a global threat to human health. Infections caused by antimicrobial-resistant micro-organisms in hospitals are associated with increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. Resistance has emerged even to newer and more potent antimicrobial agents like carbapenems. Selection and spread of resistant microorganisms in the presence of antimicrobials is facilitated by:

  • Irrational use of drugs
  • Self-medication
  • Misuse of drugs

Antimicrobial resistance is closely linked to inappropriate antimicrobial use. It is estimated that 50% or more of hospital antimicrobial use is inappropriate. There is a need for increased education and awareness about antimicrobial resistance among the public and health-care professionals. One needs to develop and improve the surveillance system for antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases in general, particularly through improved linkage of data. Nothing will work unless we improve diagnostic testing to ensure more tailored interventions and respond to the opportunities afforded by advances in genomic technologies and point of care testing.

These guidelines list the recommended treatments for common infectious diseases that are based on scientific evidence, literature review and are consistent with the already existing international guidelines and formulated with the collective opinion of a wide group of recognised national experts. The topics covered in this document include empiric treatment choices for different syndromes, infections of specific body sites, and in certain special settings; antimicrobial choices for multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens; optimizing and monitoring use of antimicrobials; preventive strategies for healthcare associated infections, case definitions and diagnosis of common infections.

It is emphasized that antimicrobials should be prescribed only when they are necessary in treatment following a clear diagnosis. Not all patients need antibiotics; non−drug treatment may be suitable and this has been emphasized in these guidelines.

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