WHO global antimicrobial resistance surveillance report
The international nature of the public health threat posed by antimicrobial resistance, and the need for a better-coordinated international response, are the subject of the recently-published, first World Health Organization global AMR surveillance report [1,2].
The report presents detailed AMR data, obtained from 114 countries, covering seven specific bacterial pathogens and nine bacteria-antibacterial drug combinations deemed to be of public health importance because of their association with healthcare-associated and/or community-acquired infections.
The seven bacterial pathogens for which detailed data are presented are Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia, non-typhoidal salmonella, shigella species and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (see table). Very high rates of resistance were reported from all WHO regions for Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus .
Antibacterial resistance (ABR) is a particular focus of the report because WHO has identified an urgent need for better coordination and harmonization of surveillance activities relating to drug resistance in this category of microorganisms.
In contrast, surveillance systems concerned with drug-resistant viral infections – such as TB, malaria and HIV – are better established and many lessons have been learned from related disease-specific interventions. Nevertheless, drug-resistant viral infections remain a significant public health threat, the WHO report notes. Key concerns identified are: under-reporting of multi-drug resistant TB, the spread of drug-resistant malaria strains and increasing levels of transmitted anti-HIV drug resistance.