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A point prevalence survey (PPS) on healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and antimicrobial use was conducted in Swiss acute care hospitals in 2017.


Our objective was to assess antimicrobial use in Swiss acute care hospitals.


All patients hospitalised in any acute care hospital in Switzerland were eligible. We used the most recent version of the PPS protocol of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.


Data from 12,931 patients of 96 hospitals were collected. Of these, 4,265 (33%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 32.2–33.8) were on 5,354 antimicrobials for 4,487 indications. Most of the 2,808 therapeutic indications addressed 1,886 community-acquired infections (67.2%; 95% CI: 65.4–68.9). Of the 1,176 surgical prophylaxes, 350 (29.8%; 95% CI: 27.1–32.4) exceeded the duration of 1 day. Of the 1,090 antimicrobial regimens that were changed, 309 (28.3%; 95% CI: 25.7–31.0) were escalated and 337 (30.9%; 95% CI: 28.2–33.7) were de-escalated. Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid was the most frequent antimicrobial (18.8%; 95% CI: 17.7–19.8), prescribed mainly for therapeutic indications (76.0%; 95% CI: 73.3–78.7). A total of 1,931 (37.4%; 95% CI: 36.1–38.8) of the 5,158 antimicrobials for systemic use were broad-spectrum antibiotics, most frequently third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins (35.9%; 95% CI: 33.8–38.1).


Antimicrobial consumption was at European average, the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in the lower third. Swiss acute care hospitals should invest in antimicrobial stewardship, particularly in reducing the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.


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