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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2019 Oct;54(4):381-399. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2019.07.019. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Carbapenem and colistin resistance in Enterobacteriaceae in Southeast Asia: Review and mapping of emerging and overlapping challenges.

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Georgetown University Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship, 3900 Reservoir Road, Washington, DC 20057, USA.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital, James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA; Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.
Georgetown University Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship, 3900 Reservoir Road, Washington, DC 20057, USA. Electronic address:


Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections have spread globally, leaving polymyxins, including colistin, as 'last-resort treatments'. Emerging colistin resistance raises the spectre of untreatable infections. Despite this threat, data remain limited for much of the world, including Southeast Asia where only 3 of 11 nations submitted data on carbapenem and colistin resistance for recent World Health Organization (WHO) reports. To improve our understanding of the challenge, we utilised broad strategies to search for and analyse data on carbapenem and colistin resistance among Escherichia coli and Klebsiella in Southeast Asia. We found 258 studies containing 526 unique reports and document carbapenem-resistant E. coli and Klebsiella in 8 and 9 of 11 nations, respectively. We estimated carbapenem resistance proportions through meta-analysis of extracted data for nations with ≥100 representative isolates. Estimated resistance among Klebsiella was high (>5%) in four nations (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), moderate (1-5%) in two nations (Malaysia and Singapore) and low (<1%) in two nations (Cambodia and Brunei). For E. coli, resistance was generally lower but was high in two of seven nations with ≥100 isolates (Indonesia and Myanmar). The most common carbapenemases were NDM metallo-β-lactamases and OXA β-lactamases. Despite sparse data, polymyxin resistance was documented in 8 of 11 nations, with mcr-1 being the predominant genotype. Widespread presence of carbapenem and polymyxin resistance, including their overlap in eight nations, represents a continuing risk and increases the threat of infections resistant to both classes. These findings, and remaining data gaps, highlight the urgent need for sufficiently-resourced robust antimicrobial resistance surveillance.


Antimicrobial resistance; Asia; Carbapenems; Colistin; Enterobacteriaceae; Epidemiology

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