Household transmission of antibiotic resistant and susceptible bacteria: a systematic review

Talk Code: 
Niamh Roberts
Alastair Hay, Ashley Hammond
Author institutions: 
Bristol Medical School, Centre for Academic Primary Care


Bacterial resistance to antibiotics poses a threat to the future of modern medicine. This is a particularly important problem in primary care where over 70% of antibiotics are prescribed. The UK Government published a 5-year strategy for tackling antibiotic resistance, with two of its key aims being (i) gaining a better understanding of how bacteria are spread within the community, and (ii) how the built environment favours the spread of bacteria. This review will explore current evidence regarding how bacteria (either resistant or susceptible) are transmitted within the household environment, including any intervention studies exploring how the spread of bacteria within households can be prevented.


We systematically searched Medline and Embase for studies published between 1946 and 2019 investigating household transmission of antibiotic resistant and susceptible bacteria. Studies were eligible if they investigated transmission from any source (such as humans, pets or the environment) to humans, or where they investigated interventions to prevent transmission of bacteria in the household. No restrictions were placed on study design, or language of published paper. Where appropriate, a meta-analysis was conducted.


Data collection and analysis is currently underway. Results will be presented in full at the conference.


Antimicrobial resistance is a top international public health priority in medical research. This review will contribute to our understanding of how bacteria are spread within the community, and the effect that social factors such as interactions with companion animals and the wider household environment might have on bacterial transmission.

Submitted by: 
Niamh Roberts
Funding acknowledgement: