Antimicrobials: a global alliance for optimizing their rational use in intra-abdominal infections (AGORA)
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Intra-abdominal infections (IAI) are an important cause of morbidity and are frequently associated with poor prognosis, particularly in high-risk patients. The cornerstones in the management of complicated IAIs are timely effective source control with appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Empiric antimicrobial therapy is important in the management of intra-abdominal infections and must be broad enough to cover all likely organisms because inappropriate initial antimicrobial therapy is associated with poor patient outcomes and the development of bacterial resistance. The overuse of antimicrobials is widely accepted as a major driver of some emerging infections (such as C. difficile), the selection of resistant pathogens in individual patients, and for the continued development of antimicrobial resistance globally. The growing emergence of multi-drug resistant organisms and the limited development of new agents available to counteract them have caused an impending crisis with alarming implications, especially with regards to Gram-negative bacteria. An international task force from 79 different countries has joined this project by sharing a document on the rational use of antimicrobials for patients with IAIs. The project has been termed AGORA (Antimicrobials: A Global Alliance for Optimizing their Rational Use in Intra-Abdominal Infections). The authors hope that AGORA, involving many of the world's leading experts, can actively raise awareness in health workers and can improve prescribing behavior in treating IAIs.