The emerging threat of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in urology

Nat Rev Urol. 2015 Oct;12(10):570-84. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2015.199. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative uropathogens is a major global concern. Worldwide, the prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae that produce extended-spectrum β-lactamase or carbapenemase enzymes continues to increase at alarming rates. Likewise, resistance to other antimicrobial agents including aminoglycosides, sulphonamides and fluoroquinolones is also escalating rapidly. Bacterial resistance has major implications for urological practice, particularly in relation to catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs) and infectious complications following transrectal-ultrasonography-guided biopsy of the prostate or urological surgery. Although some new drugs with activity against Gram-negative bacteria with highly resistant phenotypes will become available in the near future, the existence of a single agent with activity against the great diversity of resistance is unlikely. Responding to the challenges of Gram-negative resistance will require a multifaceted approach including considered use of current antimicrobial agents, improved diagnostics (including the rapid detection of resistance) and surveillance, better adherence to basic measures of infection prevention, development of new antibiotics and research into non-antibiotic treatment and preventive strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Global Health
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*