WHO Raises Alarm On Resistance To Antibiotics

A new World Health Organization (WHO) report reveals high levels of resistance in bacteria, causing life-threatening bloodstream infections, as well as increasing resistance to treatment in several bacteria causing common infections in the community based on data reported by 87 countries in 2020.

For the first time, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) report provides analyses for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) rates in the context of national testing coverage, AMR trends since 2017, and data on antimicrobial consumption in humans in 27 countries.

Within six years, GLASS achieved participation from 127 countries with 72% of the world’s population.

The report includes an innovative interactive digital format to facilitate data extraction and graphics.

The report shows high levels (above 50%) of resistance were reported in bacteria frequently causing bloodstream infections in hospitals, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter spp.

These life-threatening infections require treatment with last-resort antibiotics, such as carbapenems.

However, 8% of bloodstream infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae were reported as resistant to carbapenems, increasing the risk of death due to unmanageable infections.

Common bacterial infections are becoming increasingly resistant to treatments.

Over 60% of Neisseria gonorrhoea isolates, a common sexually transmitted disease, have shown resistance to one of the most used oral antibacterials, ciprofloxacin.

Over 20% of E.coli isolates – the most common pathogen in urinary tract infections – were resistant to both first-line drugs (ampicillin and co-trimoxazole) and second-line treatments (fluoroquinolones).