Antimicrobial agent effectiveness continues to be threatened by the rise and spread of pathogen strains that exhibit drug resistance. This challenge is most acute in healthcare facilities where the well-established connection between resistance and sub-optimal antimicrobial use has prompted the creation of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs). Mathematical models offer tremendous potential for serving as an alternative to controlled human experimentation for assessing the effectiveness of ASPs. Models can simulate controlled randomized experiments between groups of virtual patients, some treated with the ASP measure under investigation, and some without. By removing the limitations inherent in human experimentation, including health risks, study cohort size, possible number of replicates, and effective study duration, model simulations can provide valuable information to inform decisions regarding the design of new ASPs, as well as evaluation and improvement of existing ASPs. To date, the potential of mathematical modeling methods in evaluating ASPs is largely untapped, and much work remains to be done to leverage this potential.

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Copyright © 2016 Springer US. Article first published online: 11 Apr 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s40506-016-0074-8.

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Caudill, Lester and Joanna R. Wares. "The Role of Mathematical Modeling in Designing and Evaluating Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs." Current Treatment Options in Infectious Diseases, April 11, 2016. doi:10.1007/s40506-016-0074-8.