Researchers looked at global patterns of antibiotic resistance to assess how best to tackle the problem. They looked at three geographically separated, and culturally and economically distinct countries — China, Kuwait and the US: the theory was that if these very different countries had different patterns of resistance, a country-specific approach could still work: if the patterns were similar, a coordinated international response would be needed.

China had the fastest growing rate of increasing resistance, followed by Kuwait and then the US. The authors note that surveillance data are urgently needed to clarify the scope of the problem. Despite the paucity of data, preliminary data show China is doing worst — resistance of SPN (Streptococcus pneumoniae) to erythromycin is 73 per cent, compared with 23 per cent in Kuwait, and its MRSA levels are at 90 per cent

The authors say that although these countries have different trends at the moment, increasing globalisation means this might not last long. Also needed are better methods of data aggregation and analysis of how resistance is transmitted across national boundaries.


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