Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Progress and Challenges in Eight South Asian and Southeast Asian Countries.
Gandra S., Alvarez-Uria G., Turner P., Joshi J., Limmathurotsakul D., van Doorn HR.
SUMMARYAntimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious global health threat and is predicted to cause significant health and economic impacts, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). AMR surveillance is critical in LMICs due to high burden of bacterial infections; however, conducting AMR surveillance in resource-limited settings is constrained by poorly functioning health systems, scarce financial resources, and lack of skilled personnel. In 2015, the United Nations World Health Assembly endorsed the World Health Organization's Global Action Plan to tackle AMR; thus, several countries are striving to improve their AMR surveillance capacity, including making significant investments and establishing and expanding surveillance networks. Initial data generated from AMR surveillance networks in LMICs suggest the high prevalence of resistance, but these data exhibit several shortcomings, such as a lack of representativeness, lack of standardized laboratory practices, and underutilization of microbiology services. Despite significant progress, AMR surveillance networks in LMICs face several challenges in expansion and sustainability due to limited financial resources and technical capacity. This review summarizes the existing health infrastructure affecting the establishment of AMR surveillance programs, the burden of bacterial infections demonstrating the need for AMR surveillance, and current progress and challenges in AMR surveillance efforts in eight South and Southeast Asian countries.