Robust antimicrobial resistance surveillance needed in SEA

October 7, 2019

A particular resistance to two kinds of drugs, namely carbapenems and polymyxins, in Southeast Asia (SEA) has prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate their clinical risks to the masses before it becomes a widespread threat.

Carbapenems and polymyxins can potentially spread “mobile genetic elements” to other bacteria, which eases the spread of resistance. Carbapenems havebeen the preferred treatment for severe infections caused by E. coli and Klesiellaover other commonly used drugsin health care, while polymyxins treat many carbapenem-resistant infections, similar to a “last-resort drug”.

However, carbapenem-resistant strains have spread around the world – resistance to both carbapenems and polymyxins were also seen to be geographically overlapped in different countries in SEA.

According to Jesse Goodman, Director of the Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship (COMPASS) at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), the emergence of polymyxim-, or colistin-, resistance in Asia is likely due to the use of these drugs in animal food production.

As the coexistence of mobile resistance genes for carbapenem and colistin raises the risk of dangerous and untreatable infections, Goodman said, “there is a need for enhanced infection prevention, treatment and control practices to ensure wise use of our remaining precious antibiotics.”


Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

Comments are closed.