The Rising Tide of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in the Americas


A groundbreaking study published in The Lancet Regional Health – Americas has unveiled alarming statistics related to bacterial AMR across the WHO Region of the Americas.

The Scope of the Study

Covering an extensive breadth, the study delves into 35 countries of the Americas, analyzing 23 bacterial pathogens and 88 specific combinations of pathogens and drugs. The depth and range of this research make it the most exhaustive analysis of AMR in this region.

AMR’s Deadly Toll

Of the infections recorded in the Americas in 2019, a staggering 569,000 deaths were connected with AMR, accounting for 11.5% of global deaths linked to AMR. However, it’s crucial to note that while these deaths involved drug-resistant infections, other underlying health conditions could have also contributed to the mortality.

Among these, 141,000 deaths were directly attributable to AMR, where resistant infections that couldn’t be treated were the definitive cause of death.

Spotlight on Infections and Pathogens

The primary culprits leading to most fatalities were bacterial respiratory infections, bloodstream infections, intra-abdominal infections, and urinary tract infections. Together, they caused 89% of bacterial infection-related deaths.

Delving deeper, six bacterial pathogens stood out as particularly deadly:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Acinetobacter baumannii

These pathogens alone were linked to 452,000 AMR-associated deaths.

Regional Disparities

While AMR is a universal concern, its impact varied across countries. Haiti, Bolivia, Guatemala, Guyana, and Honduras recorded the highest AMR-related mortality rates. Conversely, nations like Canada, the US, and Chile, among others, reported significantly lower rates. Remarkably, these differences in AMR mortality often mirrored the adoption and implementation of National Action Plans (NAP) focused on combating AMR.

The Significance of National Action Plans (NAP)

NAPs are crucial strategic tools, offering governments a framework to combat AMR. Their importance is evident, as the countries that adopted and funded their AMR NAPs, such as Chile and the US, witnessed lower AMR mortality rates.

Understanding AMR Dynamics

Understanding the nuances of AMR across different countries—varying by infection type, pathogen, resistance level, and age demographics—can guide effective policy-making, sanitation initiatives, and treatment development.

Certain nations with high infectious death rates, like Haiti and Bolivia, could significantly benefit from improved infection prevention and control. Meanwhile, countries witnessing numerous resistant deaths amidst infectious fatalities, such as Chile and Mexico, require stringent AMR surveillance and stewardship.

As a company dedicated to diagnostic clinical assays and instruments, Montfort Laboratories underscores the urgency of understanding and mitigating AMR. The data and insights presented here serve as a call for cohesive, strategic global action against this escalating threat.


  1. Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators. (2023). The burden of antimicrobial resistance in the Americas in 2019: a cross-country systematic analysis. Lancet Regional Health – Americas.
  2. org. (2023, August 8). Antimicrobial resistance poses threat in all 35 countries in the Americas.