In only three years in existence, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) has enrolled more than 64,000 surveillance sites and 2 million patients across 66 countries.
More countries are reporting on the recently approved indicator on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), as part of the Sustainable Development Goal monitoring. The enormous expansion covered by the AMR surveillance system allows better documentation of the emerging public health threat.
High rates of resistance indicate that the world is running out of effective ways to treat common infections. For example, the rate of resistance to ciprofloxacin varied from 8.4 to 92.9 per cent in 33 reporting countries.
The WHO is concerned that this trend will be further fuelled by the inappropriate use of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisation has issued guidance not to provide antibiotic therapy or prophylaxis to patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 illness unless there is a clinical indication to do so.
Declining investment and lack of innovation in antimicrobial treatments are factors undermining efforts to combat AMR. WHO has released two documents to guide the development of new treatments for common resistant bacterial infections and an economic model simulating return on investment in antibacterial drug development