AMR & Covid

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis

The current coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis has awakened the world to the threat of a pandemic that could remain unchecked due to a lack of treatment options. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has often been described as a slow-moving pandemic, as opposed to the rapid pandemic of COVID-19. While the impact of COVID-19 on AMR is only beginning to be understood, increasing data point to a possible acceleration of the problem under the current crisis. Overuse of antibiotics and disruption of health services due to the pandemic could lead to the obstruction of antibiotic stewardship efforts and the selection of drug-resistant bacterial strains. Supporting this, reports show that cases of infections by NDM-CRE and CRAB (two of the most problematic resistant pathogens) have peaked during surges in COVID-19 hospitalizations in different regions of the world*. If left unchecked, the emergence of untreatable drug-resistant infections could lead to another public health emergency; therefore, the development of novel therapeutics targeting the most critical resistant pathogens is essential.

* Perez et al., CDC Report, MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep (2020), 69, 1827–1831; Porretta et al., Pathogens (2020), 9, 635