News & Events
Antimicrobial Resistance in Singapore and the Region
Speaker(s): A/Prof. Hsu Li Yang, Head, Department of Infectious Diseases, Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Programme Leader, Antimicrobial Resistance Programme, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (NUS)
When: 07 June 2017 (3:00 - 4:00pm)
Where: SBS CR3 (Level 1)
Type: Seminars


Antimicrobial resistance is an escalating global health threat. We review the epidemiology and prevalence of Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex (CRAB) and Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in South and Southeast Asia, where the rates of resistance are some of the highest in the world. These countries house more than a third of the world’s population and several are also major medical tourism destinations. There are significant data gaps, and the almost universal lack of comprehensive surveillance programs that include molecular epidemiologic testing has made it difficult to understand the origins and extent of the problem in depth.  A complex combination of factors – including inappropriate prescription of antibiotics, overstretched health systems and international travel - including the phenomenon of medical tourism – probably led to the rapid rise and spread of these carbapenem-resistant bacteria in hospitals in South and Southeast Asia. In many of these countries, CRE have also been found in the environment and community, likely a consequence of poor environmental hygiene and sanitation. Considerable political will and effort, including from countries outside these regions, is vital in order to reduce the prevalence of such bacteria in South and Southeast Asia, and preventing their global spread.


Dr Li Yang Hsu, MBBS (Singapore), MPH (Harvard), is an infectious diseases physician with private sector experience who is Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Programme Leader of the Antimicrobial Resistance Programme at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. He is also the Director of the Singapore Infectious Diseases Initiative, which was established to spur collaborative biomedical and clinical research in infectious diseases. His areas of research include the epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as well as the clinical and socioeconomic impact of antimicrobial resistance, and he has published several peer-reviewed articles in these areas.