Antimicrobial resistance in commensal opportunistic pathogens isolated from non-sterile sites can be an effective proxy for surveillance in bloodstream infections
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance in bloodstream infections (BSIs) is challenging in low/middle-income countries (LMICs) given limited laboratory capacity. Other specimens are easier to collect and process and are more likely to be culture-positive. In 8102 E. coli BSIs, 322,087 E. coli urinary tract infections, 6952 S. aureus BSIs and 112,074 S. aureus non-sterile site cultures from Oxfordshire (1998-2018), and other (55,296 isolates) rarer commensal opportunistic pathogens, antibiotic resistance trends over time in blood were strongly associated with those in other specimens (maximum cross-correlation per drug 0.51-0.99). Resistance prevalence was congruent across drug-years for each species (276/312 (88%) species-drug-years with prevalence within ± 10% between blood/other isolates). Results were similar across multiple countries in high/middle/low income-settings in the independent ATLAS dataset (103,559 isolates, 2004-2017) and three further LMIC hospitals/programmes (6154 isolates, 2008-2019). AMR in commensal opportunistic pathogens cultured from BSIs is strongly associated with AMR in commensal opportunistic pathogens cultured from non-sterile sites over calendar time, suggesting the latter could be used as an effective proxy for AMR surveillance in BSIs.
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