Bojana Beović

Hello, we are here!

Share Post:

1. What is your role in the AMR field and what does it entail?

I am the Chair of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Unit at the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Ljubljana University Medical Centre. In addition, I am the chair of the so-called Intersectoral Coordination Mechanism for the Control of Antimicrobial Resistance at the Ministry of Health of Slovenia. This is a multidisciplinary group that manages AMR activities in the country. It includes the medical sector, the veterinary sector, and environmental specialists.

2. Why should people be concerned about AMR?

It is a well-known fact that antimicrobial resistance reduces the quality of care. Also in Europe, several analyses showed that AMR places a considerable burden on the healthcare system, including excessive mortality. Especially during epidemics, there was less attention paid to antimicrobial resistance and the conditions in many hospitals did not allow for its control, leading to a sharp increase. We will have to compensate for the loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming years. In addition, the attention of the general population and media shifted from AMR to the Coronavirus disease, despite our efforts during the World Antibiotic Awareness Week last November.

3. What is the expected impact of the work you’re doing?

3. What is the expected impact of the work you’re doing?

I have been working in this field for more than 20 years, and we were able to stabilise antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance through various activities. This does not mean that our job is done. I believe that stable daily activities are necessary in order to get the situation under control in a long term perspective. Therefore, in my opinion, the most important achievement is that antimicrobial stewardship is recognised and accepted as one of the normal daily activities in the hospital.

4. With regards to AMR, what’s the context in your country?

Eurobarometer data show that awareness of general public has decreased. In 2019, the Slovenian Government adopted a strategy for combating antimicrobial resistance, but because of the pandemic, many activities were not undertaken. The problem is that fighting AMR is a political commitment that is not followed by any funding. In Slovenia, most activities are still voluntary or financed from other sources and there is no financial support for the programmes of the government or the Minister of Health.

5. How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the research on AMR?

It was obviously very difficult to cover the shifts during the pandemic with sufficient staff. Most of the doctors and microbiologists were involved in various COVID-19 activities. However, we were able to carry out two analyses. First, we sent out a survey asking doctors on an international scale whether they prescribed antibiotics to patients with COVID-19. The response from my colleagues in Slovenia showed relatively modest use. In addition, we conducted an international point prevalence study, comparing antibiotic use in COVID-19 patients in the ICU and in ordinary wards in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Our results showed that antibiotic use in Slovenia was relatively modest compared to other countries. We do not have data on antimicrobial resistance yet, but we are aware of a number of extremely resistant bacteria that were previously absent from some intensive care units in Slovenia, despite a generally relatively modest use of antibiotics. It is probably a consequence of antibiotic use and poor infection control during the most intensive peaks of the pandemic. 

Prof Bojana Beović, MD, PhD graduated at Medical School University in Ljubljana in 1982 where she obtained her master degree and PhD. She passed the board exam in infectious diseases at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. She was further educated in pharmacology at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Since 1986, she has been employed at the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University Medical Centre in Ljubljana. She was attending physician at the intensive care unit from 1993 to 2004. From 2005 to 2008 she was assistant medical director of University Medical Centre in Ljubljana. Currently, she is the head of the ID Consultancy Service. From 2006 to 2009 she was the president of the Health Council at the Ministry of Health of Slovenia. From 2004 to 2019 she was the president of the Slovenian Society of Chemotherapy and since 2005 she has been the vice-president of the Intersectoral Coordination Mechanism for Prudent Use of Antimicrobials at the Ministry of Health. Since 2008 she is the head of the Antibiotic Committee in UMC Ljubljana. At the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious diseases (ESCMID), she was the honorary secretary of the ESCMID Study Group for Antibiotic stewardshiP (ESGAP) from 2009 to 2014, and the chair of ESGAP from 2014 to 2018. From 2012 to 2017 she was the chair of Educational Council at the Medical Chamber of Slovenia. Currently, she chairs Medical Chember of Slovenia. She is full professor of infectious diseases at the Medical School, University of Ljubljana. She was the organizer and co-organizer of several international and national scientific meetings and educational courses, and a speaker at many regional and international meetings. As visitor she was active at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, USA and at University hospital in Trieste, Italy. Her current focus of interest in research is antibiotic stewardship, and antibiotic therapy.

Copyright - Value-Dx - Any dissemination of results must indicate that it reflects only the author's view and that the JUis not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.