The threat of multidrug-resistant/extensively drug-resistant Gram-negative respiratory infections: another pandemic

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European Respiratory Review


Antibiotic resistance is recognised as a global threat to human health by national healthcare agencies, governments and medical societies, as well as the World Health Organization. Increasing resistance to available antimicrobial agents is of concern for bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic pathogens. One of the greatest concerns is the continuing escalation of antimicrobial resistance among Gram-negative bacteria resulting in the endemic presence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extremely drug-resistant (XDR) pathogens. This concern is heightened by the identification of such MDR/XDR Gram-negative bacteria in water and food sources, as colonisers of the intestine and other locations in both hospitalised patients and individuals in the community, and as agents of all types of infections. Pneumonia and other types of respiratory infections are among the most common infections caused by MDR/XDR Gram-negative bacteria and are associated with high rates of mortality. Future concerns are already heightened due to emergence of resistance to all existing antimicrobial agents developed in the past decade to treat MDR/ XDR Gram-negative bacteria and a scarcity of novel agents in the developmental pipeline. This clinical scenario increases the likelihood of a future pandemic caused by MDR/XDR Gram-negative bacteria.



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