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).
“Antimicrobial resistance undermines modern medicine and puts millions of lives at risk,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “To truly understand the extent of the global threat and mount an effective public health response to AMR, we must scale up microbiology testing and provide quality-assured data across all countries, not just wealthier ones.”
Although most resistance trends have remained stable over the past 4 years, bloodstream infections due to resistant Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. and resistant gonorrhoea infections increased by at least 15% compared to rates in 2017.