Five-year resistance trends in pathogens causing healthcare-associated infections at a multi-hospital healthcare system in Saudi Arabia, 2015–2019

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Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance


Objectives: Awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) patterns in a given healthcare setting is important to inform the selection of appropriate antimicrobial therapy to reduce the further rise and spread of AMR as well as the rate of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms. We aimed to describe resistance patterns to several antimicrobial agents in pathogens causing HAIs isolated from patients using data gathered at three private tertiary-care hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Methods: Data on trends in AMR among bacteria causing HAIs and MDR events in children and adults at three private hospitals were collected retrospectively (2015–2019) using surveillance data. Results: Over the 5-year period, 29 393 pathogens caused 17 539 HAIs in 15 259 patients. Approximately 57.3% of patients were female and the mean age was 38.4 ± 16.8 years (81.4% adults, 18.6% children). Gram-negative pathogens were four times more likely to cause HAIs compared with Gram-positive bacteria (79.3% vs. 20.7%). Ranking of causative pathogens in decreasing order was Escherichia coli (42.2%), Klebsiella spp. (16.8%) and Staphylococcus aureus (13.9%). Acinetobacter spp. were the only pathogens to decrease significantly (7% reduction; P = 0.033). The most common resistant pathogens were extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant E. coli (37.1%), extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Klebsiella (27.8%), carbapenem-non-susceptible Acinetobacter spp. (19.5%), carbapenem-non-susceptible Pseudomonas aeruginosa (19.2%) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (18.6%). Conclusion: National collaboration is required by prompt feedback to local authorities to tackle regional differences in AMR. This can help plan timely containment interventions to stop and contain microbial threats and swiftly assess their impact.

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