Topic Editors

Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India
Dr. Chandra Kant Singh
Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India
Department of Botany, Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari 845401, India

Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 June 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 August 2023)
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10151

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and COVID-19 are the two main pandemics around the world, and pose a significant threat to public health in a global sense. Infections due to AMR are expected to affect 10 million lives globally annually by 2050. AMR and COVID-19 are interacting emergencies that have a mutual impact due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics for treating patients of COVID-19. The cost of novel therapeutics for treatments is so high that no new drugs are being trialed, and this may result in the end of conventional drug discovery. To combat antimicrobial infections the WHO have proposed guidelines that do not legalize the use of antibiotics for patients with slight bacterial co-infections; however, in cases of extreme COVID-19 symptoms, empirical antibiotics can be used. Since there is no perfect strategy for dealing with COVID-19, the guidelines for strengthening antimicrobial stewardship along with the prevention of AMR have been properly laid out. The ongoing pandemic has likely worsened the already-challenging AMR across the world. We have seen the inappropriate use of antibiotics in COVID-19 patients, which poses a major threat toward AMR. The antimicrobial resistance in the time of COVID-19 topic will cover, but is not restricted to, the following subjects (review or research articles are welcome):

  • Challenges in antibiotic choice for COVID-19 patients in low- and middle-income countries;
  • Spread of antimicrobial-resistant genes via disposable masks;
  • Excessive use of detergent, biocides, and other chemicals, leading to AMR;
  • The synergy between bacterial and viral pathogens;
  • Impact of AMR on COVID-19 clinical care.

Dr. Kushneet Kaur Sodhi
Dr. Chandra Kant Singh
Dr. Ram Prasad
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • AMR
  • COVID-19
  • antibiotics

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Microbiology
applmicrobiol
- - 2021 13.3 Days CHF 1000
COVID
covid
- - 2021 16.8 Days CHF 1000
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.6 7.8 2000 16.3 Days CHF 2900
Microbiology Research
microbiolres
1.5 1.3 2010 16.6 Days CHF 1600
Microorganisms
microorganisms
4.5 6.4 2013 15.1 Days CHF 2700

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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11 pages, 1861 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Possibility of Using Bacterial Strains and Bacteriophages for Epidemiological Studies in the Bioaerosol Environment
Microbiol. Res. 2024, 15(1), 236-246; https://doi.org/10.3390/microbiolres15010017 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 340
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, microbiological controls neglected the spread of viruses through the air. Techniques to identify this threat required additional research to enable control measures to be introduced to protect against the spread of disease through this route. Due to the very [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, microbiological controls neglected the spread of viruses through the air. Techniques to identify this threat required additional research to enable control measures to be introduced to protect against the spread of disease through this route. Due to the very high level of risk occurring during research on the COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, it seems necessary to use analogous microorganisms that will allow, through an experiment, to validate or challenge a method that stops the spread of infectious microorganisms, without unnecessary risk to research staff. The presented work was carried out to assess the possibility of using airborne microorganisms that are safe for humans for this type of research. The work presents the selection process of bacteria and viruses (bacteriophages) that have the greatest potential for use in experimental studies on airborne-droplet transmission indoors, especially in hospital facilities. In the study, it was assumed that determining the survival rates of groups of organisms would allow them to be used as a proxy for studying more dangerous bacteria and viruses. Survival studies of selected microorganisms were carried out, and the paper selected microorganisms with the highest survival rate in a given environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
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4 pages, 215 KiB  
Editorial
Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(4), 1388-1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3040093 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 551
Abstract
The world is presently dealing with two pandemics—COVID-19 and antibiotic resistance (AMR)—that constitute a serious menace to public health on a worldwide basis [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
7 pages, 849 KiB  
Communication
Bacterial Co-Infection in Patients with Coronavirus: A Rapid Review to Support COVID-19 Antimicrobial Prescription
Microbiol. Res. 2023, 14(4), 1610-1616; https://doi.org/10.3390/microbiolres14040111 - 11 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
The goal of this study was to determine the most common microorganisms present in COVID-19 patients with co-infections at the General Hospital of Mexicali. Bacterial co-infections have been reported in two previous global pandemics caused by viruses. In a retrospective observational study, we [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to determine the most common microorganisms present in COVID-19 patients with co-infections at the General Hospital of Mexicali. Bacterial co-infections have been reported in two previous global pandemics caused by viruses. In a retrospective observational study, we obtained information from 1979 patients. All had symptoms of respiratory disease, and we performed real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction tests on nasopharyngeal swab samples. Of the 1979 patients, 316 were negative; so, they were excluded. One thousand and sixty-three patients had positive results for COVID-19; one hundred and seventy-two (10.34%) had respiratory co-infections. These data were corroborated by positive growth results in culture media and identified using the MALDI-TOF MS System. Vitek 2® Compact, an automated identification system, determined the antimicrobial susceptibility testing results. We analyzed and determined the microorganisms in co-infected patients. Different microorganisms were found, including bacteria and fungi. The most prevalent of all the organisms was Acinetobacter baumannii, which was present in 64 patients (37.2%). We recommend improving the diagnostic and surveillance protocols for possible cases of co-infections in patients with COVID-19. Unlike co-infections in pandemic influenza, the spectrum of microorganisms that cause COVID-19 is too broad and varied to recommend empiric antibiotic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
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15 pages, 638 KiB  
Article
Endemic High-Risk Clone ST277 Is Related to the Spread of SPM-1-Producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period in Northern Brazil
Microorganisms 2023, 11(8), 2069; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11082069 - 11 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1579
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a high-priority bacterial agent that causes healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), which often leads to serious infections and poor prognosis in vulnerable patients. Its increasing resistance to antimicrobials, associated with SPM production, is a case of public health concern. Therefore, this study [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a high-priority bacterial agent that causes healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), which often leads to serious infections and poor prognosis in vulnerable patients. Its increasing resistance to antimicrobials, associated with SPM production, is a case of public health concern. Therefore, this study aims to determine the antimicrobial resistance, virulence, and genotyping features of P. aeruginosa strains producing SPM-1 in the Northern region of Brazil. To determine the presence of virulence and resistance genes, the PCR technique was used. For the susceptibility profile of antimicrobials, the Kirby–Bauer disk diffusion method was performed on Mueller–Hinton agar. The MLST technique was used to define the ST of the isolates. The exoS+/exoU virulotype was standard for all strains, with the aprA, lasA, toxA, exoS, exoT, and exoY genes as the most prevalent. All the isolates showed an MDR or XDR profile against the six classes of antimicrobials tested. HRC ST277 played a major role in spreading the SPM-1-producing P. aeruginosa strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
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12 pages, 513 KiB  
Article
Sublethal Exposure to Common Benzalkonium Chloride Leads to Antimicrobial Tolerance and Antibiotic Cross-Resistance in Commensal and Opportunistic Bacterial Species
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(2), 580-591; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3020041 - 18 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
The production and consumer use of disinfectants has substantially increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Benzalkonium chloride (BAC) is a mixture of alkyl benzyl dimethyl ammonium chloride compounds and is the most common active ingredient in surface cleaning and disinfecting products. Accordingly, BAC compounds [...] Read more.
The production and consumer use of disinfectants has substantially increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Benzalkonium chloride (BAC) is a mixture of alkyl benzyl dimethyl ammonium chloride compounds and is the most common active ingredient in surface cleaning and disinfecting products. Accordingly, BAC compounds are routinely in contact with microorganisms in indoor environments, which may contribute to the development of antimicrobial tolerance and cross-resistance. To investigate the impact of BAC exposure on commensal and opportunistic bacteria of public health importance, we exposed Staphylococcus epidermidis, Corynebacterium xerosis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to a standard BAC mixture (BAC12–14), as well as purified BAC16. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and antibiotic susceptibilities were determined before and after repeated exposure to sublethal BAC concentrations. MICs for Gram-negative bacteria were significantly higher than Gram-positive bacteria. Additionally, BAC12–14 MICs were significantly higher for opportunistic pathogens and BAC-tolerance was associated with antibiotic cross-resistance. These results suggest that common Gram-negative opportunistic pathogens are less sensitive to BAC-inhibition than commensal species and may preferentially develop antimicrobial tolerance upon repeated or prolonged exposure to BAC12–14. Reevaluating the formulation and concentration of BAC-containing products in efforts to limit the development of antimicrobial tolerance and antibiotic co-resistance is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
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13 pages, 322 KiB  
Review
Probiotic-Based Sanitation in the Built Environment—An Alternative to Chemical Disinfectants
Appl. Microbiol. 2023, 3(2), 536-548; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmicrobiol3020038 - 06 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1709
Abstract
The use of conventional chemical disinfectants is a common practice in built environments and has drastically increased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While effective for instantaneous disinfection, the application of chemical disinfectants to indoor surfaces is associated with recontamination and is prone [...] Read more.
The use of conventional chemical disinfectants is a common practice in built environments and has drastically increased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While effective for instantaneous disinfection, the application of chemical disinfectants to indoor surfaces is associated with recontamination and is prone to select for antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. In contrast, probiotic-based sanitation (PBS) relies on the premise that probiotic bacteria, namely apathogenic Bacillus spp., when combined with eco-friendly detergents and applied to indoor surfaces can outcompete and exclude pathogens. Recent in situ studies assessing PBS in healthcare settings have demonstrated overwhelmingly positive results, including significant reductions in pathogen burden, antimicrobial-resistant genes and nosocomial infections, yet these studies are limited in duration and scope. Here, we review results of Bacillus-based PBS in practice, identify knowledge gaps and discuss the considerations for the widespread use of PBS in built environments. In a time when indoor cleaning and disinfection has come to the forefront, PBS may offer an attractive, effective and sustainable alternative to conventional chemical disinfectants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
12 pages, 687 KiB  
Article
Microbial Organisms in the Lower Respiratory Tract Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Cross-Sectional Study in Northern Ghana
COVID 2023, 3(4), 440-451; https://doi.org/10.3390/covid3040033 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1468
Abstract
Colonization of SARS-CoV-2 with specific bacteria may either protect or increase the risk of disease severity. This study aimed to identify microbial organisms in the lower respiratory tract and their association with SARS-CoV-2 infection. This was a cross-sectional study conducted between May 2020 [...] Read more.
Colonization of SARS-CoV-2 with specific bacteria may either protect or increase the risk of disease severity. This study aimed to identify microbial organisms in the lower respiratory tract and their association with SARS-CoV-2 infection. This was a cross-sectional study conducted between May 2020 and August 2021 at the Tamale Public Health Laboratory in the Northern part of Ghana. RT-PCRs for SARS-CoV-2 and bacteriological cultures were performed on sputum samples collected from suspected COVID-19 patients. Biochemical identification and antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed on the bacterial isolates. A total of 380 participants were recruited into the study. Most participants were within the 21–30 years age group (29.6%). RT-PCR testing detected SARS-CoV-2 in 118 (31.1%) patients. Headache was found to be associated with SARS-CoV-2 (p = 0.033). Sputum cultures yielded 187 (49.2%) positive bacteria growths. Klebsiella spp. (20.5%), Moraxella catarrhalis (7.9%), and Pseudomonas spp. (6.3%) were the most commonly isolated bacteria. M. catarrhalis, Serratia spp., and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Most of the isolates were resistant to 3rd generation cephalosporins. This study has demonstrated the association between specific bacteria and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Clinicians should investigate possible bacterial co-infections in the management of COVID-19 cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Antimicrobial Resistance in the Time of COVID-19)
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