Country data on AMR in Pakistan in the context of community-acquired respiratory tract infections: links between antibiotic susceptibility, local and international antibiotic prescribing guidelines, access to medicine and clinical outcome

Didem Torumkuney, Bushra Jamil, Summiya Nizamuddin, James Van Hasselt, Uzma Pirzada, Rendani Manenzhe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global public health. Selection of resistant bacteria is driven by inappropriate use of antibiotics, amongst other factors. COVID-19 may have exacerbated AMR due to unnecessary antibiotic prescribing. Country-level knowledge is needed to understand options for action. Objectives: To review the current situation with respect to AMR in Pakistan and initiatives addressing it. Identifying areas where more information is required will provide a call to action to minimize any further rises in AMR and improve patient outcomes. Methods: National AMR initiatives, antibiotic use and prescribing in Pakistan, and availability of susceptibility data, in particular for the key community-acquired respiratory tract infection (CA-RTI) pathogens (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae) were identified. National and international antibiotic prescribing guidelines for specific CA-RTIs (community-acquired pneumonia, acute otitis media and acute bacterial rhinosinusitis) commonly used locally were also reviewed, plus local antibiotic availability. Insights from a local clinician and clinical microbiologist were sought to contextualize this information. Conclusions: Pakistan is active in developing initiatives to address AMR such as compiling a National Action Plan. However, antibiotic consumption is high and although there is legislation in place prohibiting over-the-counter purchase of antibiotics, this is still possible. Healthcare professionals use local and international antibiotic prescribing guidelines for CA-RTIs when managing patients. As highlighted by the clinical microbiologist's expert comments, surveillance of AMR in locally prevalent microorganisms is lacking. A more standardized inclusive approach in developing local guidelines, using up-to-date local surveillance data of isolates from community-acquired infections, could make management guideline use more locally relevant for clinicians. This would pave the way for a higher level of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and improved adherence. This would, in turn, potentially limit AMR development and improve clinical outcomes for patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)I18-I25
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume77
Issue number1 S
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

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