Global antimicrobial resistance and use surveillance system (GLASS) report

7 July 2020
AMR represents a major threat to human health with significant global economic and security implications
Launched in 2015 by the World Health Organization, GLASS has been conceived to progressively incorporate data from surveillance of AMR in humans, such as monitoring of resistance, use of antimicrobial medicines, AMR in the food chain and in the environment.

During the past six months, the world has faced a pandemic crisis like no other in a century. The COVID-19 experience has shown that surveillance systems are crucial for the detection and management of new public health threats. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an example of such an emerging threat with permanent humanitarian and economic consequences if not tackled aggressively.

Guiding the world towards optimal public health response and informed decision making requires harmonized data collection. In 2015, the World Health Organization launched the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) – the first global system to collect official national AMR data in selected bacterial pathogens causing common infections in humans.

Our aim is to ensure that countries can design cost effective, evidence-based AMR response strategies that are prioritized for impact, in the context of whole of society engagement across the One Health spectrum.
Dr Hanan Balkhy, Assistant Director - General for Antimicrobial Resistance, World Health Organization

In the span of four years, 91 countries and territories have enrolled in GLASS and this report presents AMR data in over two million patients from 66 countries. It shows disturbing high rates of resistance among antimicrobials frequently used to treat common bacterial infections.

GLASS is poised now to move from its infancy to mature development towards a representative database that will reveal the burden of AMR, trends in resistance, determinants and ultimately, the cost of inaction. Initial limitations due to coverage and interpretation of results from the implementation phase of GLASS will give way to allow for robust estimation of AMR burden.

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