Increased antimicrobial resistance during the COVID-19 pandemic

Chih Cheng Lai, Shey Ying Chen, Wen Chien Ko, Po Ren Hsueh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection itself, an increase in the incidence of antimicrobial resistance poses collateral damage to the current status of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. There has been a rapid increase in multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), including extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, carbapenem-resistant New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)-producing Enterobacterales, Acinetobacter baumannii, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), pan-echinocandin-resistant Candida glabrata and multi-triazole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus. The cause is multifactorial and is particularly related to high rates of antimicrobial agent utilisation in COVID-19 patients with a relatively low rate of co- or secondary infection. Appropriate prescription and optimised use of antimicrobials according to the principles of antimicrobial stewardship as well as quality diagnosis and aggressive infection control measures may help prevent the occurrence of MDROs during this pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106324
JournalInternational journal of antimicrobial agents
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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