Antibiotic-Resistant <em>Acinetobacter baumannii</em> in Low-Income Countries (2000-2020): Twenty-One Years and Still below the Radar, Is It Not There or Can They Not Afford to Look for It?

Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Jun 23;10(7):764. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10070764.


Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging pathogen, and over the last three decades it has proven to be particularly difficult to treat by healthcare services. It is now regarded as a formidable infectious agent with a genetic setup for prompt development of resistance to most of the available antimicrobial agents. Yet, it is noticed that there is a gap in the literature covering this pathogen especially in countries with limited resources. In this review, we provide a comprehensive updated overview of the available data about A. baumannii, the multi-drug resistant (MDR) phenotype spread, carbapenem-resistance, and the associated genetic resistance determinants in low-income countries (LIICs) since the beginning of the 21st century. The coverage included three major databases; PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Only 52 studies were found to be relevant covering only 18 out of the 29 countries included in the LIC group. Studies about two countries, Syria and Ethiopia, contributed ~40% of the studies. Overall, the survey revealed a wide spread of MDR and alarming carbapenem-resistance profiles. Yet, the total number of studies is still very low compared to those reported about countries with larger economies. Accordingly, a discussion about possible reasons and recommendations to address the issue is presented. In conclusion, our analyses indicated that the reported studies of A. baumannii in the LICs is far below the expected numbers based on the prevailing circumstances in these countries. Lack of proper surveillance systems due to inadequate financial resources could be a major contributor to these findings.

PMID:34201723 | DOI:10.3390/antibiotics10070764