Drug resistance, antibiotics, superbugs, WHO, GLASS report | Homeland Security Newswire

SuperbugsWHO: Widespread, high levels of antibiotic resistance across the globe

Published 2 February 2018

New surveillance data released earlier this week by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals widespread and in some cases high levels of antibiotic resistance across the globe in the most common bacterial infections. “The report confirms the serious situation of antibiotic resistance worldwide,” Marc Sprenger, MD, director of the WHOs Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat, said in a press release. “Some of the world’s most common—and potentially most dangerous—infections are proving drug-resistant.”

New surveillance data released earlier this week by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals widespread and in some cases high levels of antibiotic resistance across the globe in the most common bacterial infections.

In the first report from the WHO’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS), data from 22 countries and more than 500,000 isolates show that Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Salmonella spp are the most commonly reported resistant bacteria. And while resistance to the antibiotics used to treat these pathogens varies, resistance is alarmingly high in some countries.

“The report confirms the serious situation of antibiotic resistance worldwide,” Marc Sprenger, MD, director of the WHOs Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat, said in a press release. “Some of the world’s most common—and potentially most dangerous—infections are proving drug-resistant.”

GLASS, which was launched in 2015 to help achieve the goals of the WHOs Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), seeks to standardize the collection and sharing of AMR surveillance data across the globe. Establishing country-level surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance is seen as crucial to efforts to fully understand the extent of AMR and combat the rise and spread of resistant pathogens. Of the 52 countries currently enrolled in GLASS, 40 provided information on their surveillance systems, and 22 provided AMR data.

Wide ranges of antibiotic resistance
CIDRAP notes that the AMR data provided by the 22 countries are primarily for pathogens isolated from blood, urine, stool, cervical, and urethral specimens and show a tremendous range in the proportion of bacteria that were non-susceptible to one or more of the antibiotics commonly used to treat them. Resistance to penicillin, for example, ranged from zero to 51 percent, while resistance to ciprofloxacin in urinary tract infections caused by E coli ranged from 8 percent to 65 percent. Ciprofloxacin is the drug most frequently used to treat urinary tract infections.

Among patients with suspected bloodstream infections, the proportion that had bacteria that were non-susceptible to commonly used antibiotics ranged from zero in some countries to as high as 82 percent in others. Bacterial bloodstream infections, especially those caused by drug-resistant bacteria, are among the most serious and life-threatening for patients.