Antibiotic resistance has become a serious threat to global health. This study aimed to assess knowledge and habits surrounding the use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance of university students residing in urban areas compared to those in rural areas of Nisava region, Serbia. Data was gathered using an online survey and tested for statistical differences using the Chi-squared test. A total of 380 students participated with a response rate of 94.7 per cent. Of this, 84.4 per cent of students correctly identified antibiotics as being effective against bacteria and distinguished well between antibiotics and other types of medicines. However, 31.4 per cent believe that antibiotics help with most diseases, not just bacteria-related illnesses. While only 12.5 per cent said they believed that therapy can be interrupted when the symptoms fade, a total of 45.8% admitted to premature treatment interruption. As many as 59.7 per cent reported having bought antibiotics without a prescription, and a significant portion of 62.5 per cent reported having taken antibiotics for travel emergencies. There was no statistically significant difference related to the domicile of the students (p>0.05). Students demonstrated relatively acceptable knowledge on antibiotics use and antibacterial resistance – which is not reflected in their practice of using antibiotics. Campaigns are needed to promote awareness on antibiotic resistance as students’ habits are not satisfactory.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Nemanja Kutlesic, Aleksandra Jovanovic