Global travel and Gram-negative bacterial resistance; implications on clinical management

Nicolette Theriault, Glenn Tillotson, Christian E. Sandrock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Antimicrobial resistance (AR) is escalating worldwide with the potential for dire consequences, global travel contributes to the dissemination of resistant pathogens from one region to another. The World Health Organization identified the rapid emergence and prevalence of carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative species, including Enterobacterales, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as an international crisis due to treatment challenges, poor health outcomes, increased mortality, and high economic costs caused by these pathogens. Areas covered: This review describes key carbapenem-resistant (CR) Gram-negative species, changes in current global and regional trends, AR surveillance and reporting, and identifies drivers of change, specifically travel. Finally, we review clinical implications and challenges of treating CR infections which exist due to widespread dissemination of CR bacteria. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, Ebsco, and ProQuest (from 2000 to December 2019). Expert opinion: The level of global travel is increasing, and antimicrobial resistance continues to disseminate worldwide. Healthcare providers risk assessment for AR needs to consider a patient’s recent travel history, including pre-travel and intra-travel antimicrobial prescription, and potential exposure based on geography. Patient education, healthcare provider awareness, and access to data and surveillance resources are critical to inform antimicrobial selection and improve health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • antibiotic resistance
  • carbapenem-resistant
  • Gram-negative
  • surveillance
  • travel-related

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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