Nature 581, 94–99 (2020)

Childhood vaccination can reduce the amount of infections treated with antibiotics and, hence, the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance.

Infection with antimicrobial-resistant bacteria poses a worldwide threat, and the greatest morbidity is for those in low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, it is known that consumption of antibiotics contributes to its prevalence, which contributes to conflicting tensions in such countries.

Lewnard et al. analyzed data from demographic and health surveys from 18 countries on the prevalence of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and live attenuated rotavirus vaccines, the incidence of infection in those areas and antibiotic usage in children. These vaccines are part of the World Health Organization’s expanded vaccination program, and the results show that this program also reduces the incidence of antibiotics-treated disease.