Highlights of the CDC’s 2019 antibiotic resistance threats report

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; GA, USA) has released its report ‘Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2019’ outlining the burden of antimicrobial resistance in the USA and the greatest threats that face the country. This report is an update on the 2013 version.

The report contains new CDC data that demonstrate that, while the burden of antimicrobial-resistant threats in the US was greater than initially thought, deaths have decreased from the 2013 report, suggesting infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship efforts have had an impact.

However, the report states that despite this promising trend the number of cases in the USA is still too high – over 2.8 million cases of antimicrobial-resistant infections occur in the USA each year, resulting in over 35,000 deaths. Clostridioides difficile is highlighted as a particular issue – resulting in nearly 223,900 hospitalizations and 12,8000 mortalities.

This image shows some key data from the CDC’s 2019 antibiotic resistance threats reportThe report lists 18 antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi (it does not include viruses and parasites) into three categories based on level of concern to human health – urgent, serious, and concerning – in addition it also places three pathogens on the ‘watch list’:

Urgent threats

  • Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter
  • Candida auris
  • Clostridioides difficile
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
  • Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Serious threats

  • Drug-resistant Campylobacter
  • Drug-resistant Candida
  • Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci
  • Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Drug-resistant nontyphoidal Salmonella
  • Drug-resistant Salmonella serotype Typhi
  • Drug-resistant Shigella
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Drug-resistant tuberculosis

Concerning threats

  • Erythromycin-resistant group A Streptococcus
  • Clindamycin-resistant group B Streptococcus

Watch list

  • Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Drug-resistant Mycoplasma genitalium
  • Drug-resistant Bordetella pertussis

The CDC raises concerns over rising resistant infection in the community, including drug-resistant gonorrhoea and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae, stating that this increasing trend puts more people at risk, makes spread more challenging to identify and contain, and threatens progress made to protect patients in the healthcare setting.

The report also includes a foreword from CDC Director Robert Redfield that contains some powerful calls to action, he comments in the report: “To stop antibiotic resistance, our nation must stop referring to a coming post-antibiotic era – it’s already here,” adding, “Antibiotic resistance has been found in every US state and in every country across the globe. There is no safe place from antibiotic resistance, but everyone can take action against it. Take action where you can, from handwashing to improving antibiotic use.”

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Source: https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/threats-report/2019-ar-threats-report-508.pdf

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