University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Anaerobic resistance: should we be worried?

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 12:10 authored by Louise CooleyLouise Cooley, Teng, J

Purpose of review:, Anaerobic bacteria are implicated in a broad range of infections and can cause significant morbidity and mortality. As such, development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) increases the risk of worse clinical outcomes and death.

Recent findings: Anaerobe AMR is highly variable according to region and species included in the survey. The overall trend is to increasing resistance, particularly in Europe and Asia, and in the Bacteroides fragilis group and Clostridium sp. Conversely, with the decline in RT027, resistance in Clostridiodes difficile is decreasing. Resistance to moxifloxacin and clindamycin has reached 30-50%, whereas prevalence of metronidazole and carbapenem resistance is generally low. Infections due to multidrug anaerobes have been increasingly reported, with clinical studies demonstrating adverse clinical outcomes, including higher mortality, with anaerobic resistance or inappropriate therapy. The role of antimicrobial stewardship in the setting of increasing anaerobe resistance is yet to be fully elucidated.

Summary: These findings highlight the importance of continuous surveillance in monitoring emerging trends in anaerobe AMR. Mean inhibitory concentrations should be reported due to variable susceptibility breakpoints and for detection of isolates with reduced susceptibility. At a local level, the clinical microbiology laboratory has a key role in identifying and undertaking susceptibility testing to inform individual patient management, develop local antibiograms and liaise with antimicrobial stewardship teams. A greater understanding of the clinical impact of anaerobic resistance and the role of antimicrobial stewardship in preventing resistance is required.


Publication title

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health surveillance

Usage metrics