Characterization of antimicrobial-resistant Gram-negative bacteria that cause neonatal sepsis in seven low- and middle-income countries
Antimicrobial resistance in neonatal sepsis is rising, yet mechanisms of resistance that often spread between species via mobile genetic elements, ultimately limiting treatments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), are poorly characterized. The Burden of Antibiotic Resistance in Neonates from Developing Societies (BARNARDS) network was initiated to characterize the cause and burden of antimicrobial resistance in neonatal sepsis for seven LMICs in Africa and South Asia. A total of 36,285 neonates were enrolled in the BARNARDS study between November 2015 and December 2017, of whom 2,483 were diagnosed with culture-confirmed sepsis.
All isolated pathogens were resistant to multiple antibiotic classes, including those used to treat neonatal sepsis. Intraspecies diversity of K. pneumoniae and E. coli indicated that multiple antibiotic-resistant lineages cause neonatal sepsis. Our results will underpin research towards better treatments for neonatal sepsis in LMICs.
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