Increased Detection of Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacterales Bacteria in Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 Pandemic
During 2020–2021, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean reported clinical emergence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales that had not been previously characterized locally, increased prevalence of carbapenemases that had previously been detected, and co-production of multiple carbapenemases in some isolates. These increases were likely fueled by changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including empirical antibiotic use for potential COVID-19–related bacterial infections and healthcare limitations resulting from the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. Strengthening antimicrobial resistance surveillance, epidemiologic research, and infection prevention and control programs and antimicrobial stewardship in clinical settings can help prevent emergence and transmission of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales.
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