Publication summary

This publication identifies hurdles to effective surveillance of drug resistant infections in many low-income settings and encourages an open attitude towards new and evolving technologies that, if adopted, could close surveillance gaps. Emerging technologies have the potential to facilitate the collection and analysis of local antimicrobial resistance data. The availability of more accurate datasets will inform on resistance trends and help decision-makers design better strategies to contain antimicrobial resistance. The authors outline the promise and limitations of such technologies, their potential to leapfrog surveillance over currently available protocols and early steps that health systems could take towards preparing to adopt them.

Who this is for

  • Policy makers
  • Researchers
  • Clinicians

Key findings

  • Surveillance is essential for qualifying and quantifying antimicrobial resistance but is inadequately conducted in many low-income and middle-income settings due to technical hurdles.
  • Our review of the current implementation and development landscape reveals that leapfrog technologies that could overcome some of these hurdles are in existence or could soon become available.
  • Low- and middle-income countries settings with few surveillance facilities should be encouraged and supported to embrace out-of-the-Petri dish innovations rather than model their surveillance systems solely on difficult-to-implement-and-quality-assure traditional methods.
  • Lower income health systems can and should position themselves to adopt promising leapfrog technologies by upgrading financial and procurement systems, moving to digital health records and integrating molecular biology into medical laboratory science education.