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Antibiotic resistance patterns of Escherichia coli in migrants vs non-migrants: a study of 14,561 urine samples

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BACKGROUND: To investigate the distribution of urine isolates and antibiotic resistance patterns in the predominant uropathogen Escherichia coli in migrant and non-migrant individuals.

METHODS: We linked a cohort consisting of all migrants obtaining residence as refugees or family-reunited migrants in Denmark between January 1993 and December 2015 to hospital urine samples examined from January 2000 to December 2015 at the Department of Microbiology, University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark. Samples from non-migrant individuals, Danish-born from Danish parents, were included as comparison. Analysis was carried out using multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS: There were 14 561 first-time urine samples included, with E. coli being the most prevalent bacterial pathogen. Of the identified isolates, 4686/11 737 were E. coli among non-migrants and 1032/2824 among migrants.Sulfamethoxazol-Trimethoprim (SXT) resistance was found in 34.3% (350/1020) of E. coli isolates among migrants and 23.2% (1070/4619) among non-migrant patients [odds ratio (OR) 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.47-2.03]. Ciprofloxacin resistance was found in 5.8% (36/618) of isolates among migrants and 2.2% (67/3092) among non-migrants (OR 2.20, 95% CI: 1.37-3.53). Gentamicin (GEN) resistance was seen in 10.8% (61/565) and 4.7% (110/2328) of isolates (OR 2.33, 95% CI:1.63-3.34), Cefuroxime resistance in 8.5% (87/1019) and 3.4% (158/4618) (OR 2.40, 95% CI:1.77-3.24), Ampicillin (AMP) resistance in 51.4% and 40.8% (OR 1.65, 95% CI: 1.42-1.92) and Piperacillin-Tazobactam resistance in 6.9% (30/432) and 4.2% (65/1532) for migrant and non-migrant patients, respectively. When stratifying according to migrant status, family-reunited had higher odds of resistance than refugees for SXT, GEN and AMP.

CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of antibiotic resistance was significantly higher in E. coli isolates among migrants, both refugees and family-reunited, than non-migrant patients. Differences could not be explained by comorbidity or income. The results emphasize the importance of urine sample testing in both local-born and migrants before antibiotic start-up and point to the benefit of considering migration to secure individual treatment and equal health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
Volume26
Issue number8
ISSN1195-1982
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

© International Society of Travel Medicine 2019. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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