Carbapenem and Colistin Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae in Southeast Asia: Review and Mapping of Emerging and Overlapping Challenges

Published: 21 August 2019| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/8tnhz8wfk8.2
Marissa Malchione,
Laura M Torres,
David Hartley,
Michala Koch,
Jesse Goodman


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 at least 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 at least 100 isolates (Indonesia and Myanmar). The most common carbapenemases were NDM metallo-beta-lactamases and OXA beta-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. The Supplementary Table S2 contains all study data and data elements extracted for analyses.



Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Resistance, Asia, Carbapenems, Enterobacteriaceae