Antimicrobial resistance: time for action

Da Silva Jr. et al.

[Extract] The year 2020 will be remembered for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, responsible for more than 10 million cases and more than 500 000 deaths in the first half of the year alone, and receiving unprecedented political and social attention. 1 This global public health crisis should draw attention to other silent epidemics, such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), responsible for 700 000 annual deaths worldwide, 230 000 of them from multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.2 In the Region of the Americas, multidrug-resistant microorganisms are the leading cause of health care-associated infections. Surveillance data from the Latin American Network for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (RELAVRA) show an increasing trend in the resistance of hospital pathogens such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, whose non-susceptibility to carbapenem antibiotics has been increasing significantly in Latin America since 2014, reaching an average of 21%.3 There are significant consequences for health systems in terms of mortality, disability, and economic costs. For example, Staphylococcus aureus causes a wide range of infections and is one of the most commonly isolated microorganisms in health care-associated infections; in Latin America, more than 25% of S. aureus isolates are resistant to methicillin. The result is 45.2% excess mortality attributable to methicillin resistance, compared to susceptible strains, and increased antibiotic treatment costs (6.7 times greater) and hospitalization (almost 3 times greater).[...]

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