Carbapenem resistance in: laboratory challenges, mechanistic insights and therapeutic strategiesAcinetobacter baumannii: laboratory challenges, mechanistic insights and therapeutic strategies

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Unprecedented levels of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial isolates have prompted great concerns globally. In 2012 the WHO released a publication outlining the evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance in order to raise awareness and to stimulate coordinated international efforts. The carbapenem class of antibiotics is largely considered as an antibiotic of last-resort when treating infections. Now carbapenem resistance further limits treatment options. In this article the authors discuss carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacterial isolate often implicated in nosocomial infections. Virulence factors, intrinsic and acquired resistance mechanisms, together with laboratory challenges in the detection and antibiotic susceptibility testing of A. baumannii make this a truly problematic isolate. Therapeutic options are exceedingly limited, relying on polymyxins in combinations with other antibiotics, with few, if any, new active agents in the pipeline.

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