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28.10.2019 | Review | Ausgabe 6/2020

Digestive Diseases and Sciences 6/2020

What Would the Screen-and-Treat Strategy for Helicobacter pylori Mean in Terms of Antibiotic Consumption?

Zeitschrift:
Digestive Diseases and Sciences > Ausgabe 6/2020
Autoren:
Mārcis Leja, Uga Dumpis
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Abstract

Several guidelines recommend the screen-and-treat strategy, i.e. active search for the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection and its eradication to prevent the possibility of gastric cancer. It is thought that a relatively short duration antibiotic regimen given once in a lifetime would not significantly increase overall antibiotic consumption. However, this would mean offering antibiotic treatment to the majority of the population in countries with the biggest burden of gastric cancer who would, therefore, have the greatest benefit from such a strategy. So far, no country has implemented an eradication strategy. With an example based on the current situation in Latvia, we have estimated the increase in antibiotic consumption if the screen-and-treat strategy was applied. Depending on the scenario that might be chosen, clarithromycin consumption would increase up to sixfold, and amoxicillin consumption would double if the recommendations of the current guideline in the local circumstances was applied. It appears that an increase in commonly used antibiotic consumption cannot be justified from the viewpoint of antibiotic stewardship policies. Solutions to this problem could be the use of antibiotics that are not required for treating life-threatening diseases or more narrow selection of the target group, e.g. young people before family planning to avoid transmission to offspring. Additional costs related to the increase in resistome should be considered for future cost-effectiveness modelling of the screen-and-treat strategy.

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