Antimicrobial resistance among GLASS priority pathogens from Pakistan: 2006-2018

Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Background: In 2018 Pakistan initiated its national antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance aligned with Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System (GLASS). To complement this surveillance, we conducted a situational analysis of AMR rates among GLASS organisms in the country. Data from published studies and from antibiograms was compared and role of antibiograms as potential contributors to national AMR surveillance explored.
Methods: AMR rates for GLASS specified pathogen/antimicrobials combination from Pakistan were reviewed. Data sources included published studies (2006-2018) providing AMR rates from Pakistan (n = 54) as well as antibiograms (2011-2018) available on the Pakistan Antimicrobial Resistance Network (PARN) website. Resistance rates were categorized as follows: Very low: 0-10%, Low: 11-30%, Moderate: 30-50% and High: > 50%.
Results: Published data from hospital and community/laboratory-based studies report resistance rates of > 50% and 30-50% respectively to 3rd generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and cotrimoxazole amongst Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. Carbapenem resistance rates amongst these organisms remained below 30%. High (> 50%) resistance was reported in Acinetobacter species to aminoglycosides and carbapenems among hospitalized patients. The evolution of ceftriaxone resistant Salmonella Typhi and Shigella species is reported. The data showed > 50% to fluoroquinolones amongst Neisseria gonorrhoeae and the spread of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (< 30%; 2008) to (> 50%; 2010) in hospital settings. Resistance reported in published studies aligned well with antibiogram data. The latter also captured a clear picture of evolution of resistance over the study period.
Conclusion: Both published studies as well antibiograms suggest high rates of AMR in Pakistan. Antibiogram data demonstrating steady increase in AMR highlight its potential role towards supplementing national AMR surveillance efforts particularly in settings where reach of national surveillance may be limited.


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BMC Infectious Diseases