Antibiotic Prescriptions for Children With Community-acquired Pneumonia: Findings From Italy

Paola Costenaro, Anna Cantarutti, Elisa Barbieri, Antonio Scamarcia, Andrea Oletto, Paolo Sacerdoti, Rebecca Lundin, Luigi Cantarutti, Carlo Giaquinto, Daniele Donà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is one of the most common reasons of prescribing antibiotics for children, often with overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics. The aim of this study is to describe the antibiotic prescriptions for Italian children with CAP, at the primary care level. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study conducted among children 3 months-14 years of age with CAP, enrolled in Pedianet ( from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2018. Antibiotic treatment was defined as narrow-spectrum (NS-ABT) if amoxicillin and broad-spectrum (BS-ABT) if amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, cephalosporins or any combination. Crude and adjusted logistic regressions for the odds of receiving NS-ABT were conducted (all episodes of CAP and per patient). A P value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS: Among 9691 CAP, 7260 episodes from 6409 children followed by 147 pediatricians were analyzed. The 16.7% of CAP [1216/7260, 95% confidence interval (CI): 15.9%-17.6%] received an NS-ABT while 53.3% (3863/7260, 95% CI: 52%-54.4%) received BS-ABTs and 30% (2181/7260, 95% CI: 28.9%-31.1%) macrolides. Within 10 years, a slight but increasing trend of NS-ABT prescription was observed (P < 0.001). Factors independently associated with reduced odds of receiving an NS-ABT compared with BS-ABT including macrolides were being older than 5 years [odds ratio (OR) 0.45, 95% CI: 0.39-0.52], living in Central/Southern Italy (OR 0.13, 95% CI: 0.10-0.16) and being exposed to ABT 3 months before (OR 0.61, 95% CI: 0.53-0.70). These findings were confirmed comparing NS-ABT versus BS-ABT excluding macrolides (n = 5079) and when the analysis was limited to index CAP. CONCLUSION: Our findings report a very limited prescription of narrow-spectrum antibiotics for Italian children with CAP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-136
Number of pages7
JournalThe Pediatric infectious disease journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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