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The changing landscape of antimicrobial resistance in New Zealand

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest health threats of the modern age, threatening the routine treatment of many common infectious diseases. Resistance to many common antimicrobials is now endemic in New Zealand, in both community and healthcare settings. Over the past two decades, the landscape of antimicrobial resistance has changed considerably in New Zealand, with the emergence and spread of pathogens such as community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and multiresistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Factors contributing to the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens in New Zealand include the use and overuse of antimicrobials, transmission of resistant organisms in community and healthcare settings, and importation of resistant pathogens from areas where multi-resistant pathogens are endemic. In this review, we provide a summary of major antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in New Zealand, with a specific focus on those pathogens that pose major threats to human health.

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