WHO receives record response to call for AMR surveillance reports in 2020

15 June 2021

Article: 55/2405

More than three million laboratory-confirmed infection cases, along with their antimicrobial resistance (AMR) results, were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), in response to the 2020 call for input toward its Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS).

The WHO report that, collectively, country reports show high numbers of bloodstream infections caused by Escherichia coli with resistance to third generation cephalosporins, and by antimicrobial resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Resistance seem to be higher in low and middle-income countries than in richer countries, and could be particularly concerning for countries with limited access to modern antibiotics effective against these infections.

The WHO found high levels of resistance to last-resort antibiotics, such as carbapenems, reported for bloodstream infections caused by common hospital pathogens such as Acinetobacter spp. and some enterobacteria, highlighting the threat of highly resistant human pathogens. The reports also indicated a high proportion of resistance to commonly used antibiotic treatments for urinary tract infections, and for gonorrhoea.