Antimicrobial resistance undermines modern medicine and puts millions of lives at risk, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Moreover, high levels of resistance to treatment are reported in bacteria frequently causing bloodstream infections in hospitals, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) report states. The report is based on 2020 data from 87 countries.
Within the context of national testing coverage, the report, for the first time, analyses antimicrobial resistance (AMR) rates, tracking trends in 27 countries since 2017.
It reveals high levels of bacterial resistance, frequently causing life-threatening bloodstream infections in hospitals, such as those caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter spp, which require treatment with last-resort antibiotics such as carbapenems.
However, eight percent of those infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae were resistant to carbapenems, increasing the risk of death.
Bacterial infections are becoming increasingly resistant to treatments, with over 60 percent of Neisseria gonorrhoea infections, a common sexually transmitted disease, showing resistance to ciprofloxacin, one of the most widely used oral antibacterials.
And over 20 percent of E.coli isolates, the most common pathogen in urinary tract infections, were resistant to ampicillin and co-trimoxazole, first-line drugs, as well as second-line treatments known as fluoroquinolones.