The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance is a threat to human health, particularly within vulnerable populations in the hospital and acute care settings. This leads to increasing healthcare costs, morbidity, and mortality. Bacteria rapidly evolve novel mechanisms of resistance and methods of antimicrobial evasion. Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii have all been identified as pathogens with particularly high rates of resistance to antibiotics, resulting in a reducing pool of available treatments for these organisms. Effectively combating this issue requires both preventative and reactive measures. Reducing the spread of resistant pathogens, as well as reducing the rate of evolution of resistance is complex. Such a task requires a more judicious use of antibiotics through a better understanding of infection epidemiology, resistance patterns, and guidelines for treatment. These goals can best be achieved through the implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs and the development and introduction of new drugs capable of eradicating multi-drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens (MDR GNB). The purpose of this article is to review current trends in MDR Gram-negative bacterial infections in the hospitalized setting, as well as current guidelines for management. Finally, new and emerging antimicrobials, as well as future considerations for combating antibiotic resistance on a global scale are discussed.
Keywords: Gram-negative bacteria; antibiotic resistance; antibiotic stewardship.