Use of generalized ordered logistic regression for the analysis of multidrug resistance data.
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Statistical analysis of antimicrobial resistance data largely focuses on individual antimicrobial's binary outcome (susceptible or resistant). However, bacteria are becoming increasingly multidrug resistant (MDR). Statistical analysis of MDR data is mostly descriptive often with tabular or graphical presentations. Here we report the applicability of generalized ordinal logistic regression model for the analysis of MDR data. A total of 1,152 Escherichia coli, isolated from the feces of weaned pigs experimentally supplemented with chlortetracycline (CTC) and copper, were tested for susceptibilities against 15 antimicrobials and were binary classified into resistant or susceptible. The 15 antimicrobial agents tested were grouped into eight different antimicrobial classes. We defined MDR as the number of antimicrobial classes to which E. coli isolates were resistant ranging from 0 to 8. Proportionality of the odds assumption of the ordinal logistic regression model was violated only for the effect of treatment period (pre-treatment, during-treatment and post-treatment); but not for the effect of CTC or copper supplementation. Subsequently, a partially constrained generalized ordinal logistic model was built that allows for the effect of treatment period to vary while constraining the effects of treatment (CTC and copper supplementation) to be constant across the levels of MDR classes. Copper (Proportional Odds Ratio [Prop OR]=1.03; 95% CI=0.73-1.47) and CTC (Prop OR=1.1; 95% CI=0.78-1.56) supplementation were not significantly associated with the level of MDR adjusted for the effect of treatment period. MDR generally declined over the trial period. In conclusion, generalized ordered logistic regression can be used for the analysis of ordinal data such as MDR data when the proportionality assumptions for ordered logistic regression are violated.