A retrospective analysis of influenza vaccination coverage and antibiotic prescribing rates from 2010 to 2017 across states in the United States, controlling for differences in health infrastructure and yearly vaccine effectiveness, found that a 10-percentage point increase in influenza vaccination coverage was associated with a 6.5% decrease in antibiotic use across all age groups, equivalent to 14.2 fewer antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 individuals.
The 2010 introduction of PCV10 for infants in Finland led to an estimated 15% reduction among unvaccinated children in purchases of antimicrobials recommended for acute otitis media (AOM), the most common reason for antimicrobial use in many countries. The indirect effects of PCV10 introduction contribute to health care savings and may also help to combat antimicrobial resistance.
This systematic review suggests that vaccination against influenza and pneumococcus can reduce overall healthcare visits and antimicrobial consumption. Of the 26 studies included in the review, 23 found significant reductions in antimicrobial use in vaccinated individuals or groups. This evidence indicates that improved coverage with existing vaccines may significantly reduce antimicrobial demand.
A study led by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that across five winter influenza seasons (2013-2018), vaccination against influenza averted 1 in 25 antibiotic prescriptions among outpatients with acute respiratory illness (ARI). The study population included 37,487 ARI outpatients 6 months or older treated at over 50 healthcare facilities across the United States. The authors conclude that influenza vaccination may curb unnecessary antibiotic use and help reduce the global threat of antibiotic resistance.
In this analysis of data from large-scale studies of households, two vaccines recently implemented in the WHO EPI, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and live attenuated rotavirus vaccines, were estimated to confer 20% and 11% protection against antibiotic-treated episodes of acute respiratory infection and diarrhea, respectively, in the age groups with the greatest disease burden attributable to these pathogens. Under current coverage levels, pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines are estimated to prevent 24 million and 14 million episodes, respectively, of antibiotic-treated illness each year among children in LMICs less than five years old. An additional 40 million episodes could be prevented through achievement of universal coverage targets.
The costs and health effects of treating typhoid might soon increase dramatically, since the bacteria that causes typhoid is becoming increasingly resistant to the most effective oral antimicrobial drugs, thus requiring treatment with more expensive intravenous antibiotics which may result in more frequent hospitalizations for suspected typhoid cases.
Following the introduction of PCV7 and later PCV13 in Madrid, Spain, there was a 70% reduction in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children less than 15 years of age. There was also a pronounced decline in the percentages of penicillin- and cefotaxime-resistant strains of the pneumococcus bacteria. After PCV13 was introduced in 2010, cefotaxime resistance among meningitis patients completely disappeared and both cefotaxime and penicillin resistance among non-meningitis cases declined to very low levels (<3%).
A community-based study in Vietnam found a high percent of children under five years of age were carrying pneumococcal bacteria in their noses and throats that were non-susceptible to commonly-used antibiotics. Of the strains tested, 18% were not susceptible to penicillin, 26% weren’t susceptible to cefotaxime, 76% were not susceptible to meropenem and 14% were not susceptible to all three nor to any of the “macrolide” drugs (e.g., erthromycin and azithromycin). However, 90% of the multi-drug resistant strains are serotypes that are in the 13-strain pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13) and thus the introduction of a vaccine is expected to increase the susceptibility of circulating strains of the bacteria.
Vaccines against influenza reduce the use of antibiotics that drive drug resistance in bacteria in two ways. First, they prevent secondary bacterial infections caused by influenza, such as pneumonia and otitis media; in Ontario, Canada, the rate of prescribing for influenza-associated antibiotics declined around 64% after universal introduction of influenza vaccination compared to other Canadian provinces with more limited use of the vaccine. Second, they help prevent inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory tract infections caused by influenza and other viruses, which account for half of all respiratory illnesses for which antibiotics are prescribed in the U.S.
A large U.S. study of surveillance data examining the impact of switching from PCV7 to PCV13 for infants demonstrated how important vaccination is in combating antimicrobial resistance. While the incidence of antibiotic-resistant invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) was increasing before the introduction of PCV13, drug resistant IPD declined 78-96% in children under five after the vaccine introduction.