Fluoroquinolone use and seasonal patterns of ciprofloxacin resistance in community-acquired urinary Escherichia coli infection in a large urban center


Urinary tract infections caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli are among the most frequently encountered infections and are a common reason for antimicrobial prescriptions. Resistance to fluoroquinolone antimicrobial agents, particularly ciprofloxacin, has increased in recent decades. It is intuitive that variation in fluoroquinolone resistance is driven by changes in antimicrobial use, but careful study of this association requires the use of time-series methods. Between April 2010 and December 2014, we studied seasonal variation in resistance to ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ampicillin in community-acquired urinary E. coli isolates in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Using dynamic linear models, we investigated whether seasonal variation in resistance could be explained by seasonal variation in community antimicrobial use. We found a positive association between total fluoroquinolone use lagged by 1 and 2 months and the proportion of isolates resistant to ciprofloxacin. Our results suggest that resistance to ciprofloxacin is responsive to short-term variation in antimicrobial use. Thus, antimicrobial stewardship campaigns to reduce fluoroquinolone use, particularly in the winter when use is highest, are likely to be a valuable tool in the struggle against antimicrobial resistance.

American Journal of Epidemiology, 189(3): 215–223