On the other hand, infection rates for some priority bacterial organisms in Canada continue to rise. Cases of sexually transmitted gonorrhea infections, caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae
bacteria, had a sharp 43% rise from 2004 to 2013 with a marked rate of antibiotic resistance. Of the isolates collected and tested, 18.2% were resistant to penicillin, 47.3% were resistant to tetracycline, 32.0% were resistant to erythromycin, and 34.0% were resistant to ciprofloxacin. The rate of infection for group A Streptococcus
rose from 2009 to 2013, from 4.0 to 4.7 cases per 100,000 people, with most of those infections occurring in infants under one year of age and in adults 60 years of age or older. The strains present in Canada continue to respond to first-line antibiotic treatment with stable or declining resistance to second-line medications.
The Canadian report notes gaps from lack of data on antimicrobial resistant bacteria in smaller hospitals, rural and northern healthcare facilities, and First Nations and Inuit communities. “PHAC has made significant progress strengthening its surveillance systems in order to provide a comprehensive and integrated public health picture of AMR and AMU in Canada,” says the report. “Ongoing surveillance gaps present a challenge to developing a comprehensive picture in both the community and hospital settings. PHAC is committed to working with provincial and territorial governments, and other partners to address surveillance gaps. The identification of the increasing resistance of microorganisms to antimicrobials, and questions regarding the appropriate use of antimicrobials, demonstrate the necessity for continued vigilance in order to address the issue of AMR and AMU in Canada.”
To stay informed on the latest in infectious disease news and developments, please sign up for our weekly newsletter.