A Rapid Scoping Review on COVID-19’s Impact on AMU and AMR

Above view of Colorful antibiotic capsule pills on a tray and blue background.

The AMR Policy Accelerator team conducted a rapid scoping review to explore how several factors have impacted the emergence, transmission and burden of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest update to the living synthesis has just been published. This third living evidence review explores the nexus of antimicrobial use (AMU), infection prevention and control (IPAC), and healthcare systems. Published by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, funded by Covid-End, this report aims to dissect the emergence, transmission, and burden of drug-resistant strains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Findings

  • Varied AMR Trends: Across nations, AMR trends exhibited diverse patterns during the pandemic.
  • AMU Shifts: Hospitals saw increased AMU, contrasting with decreased community AMU—a consequence of COVID countermeasures restraining infection spread.
  • Areas for Discussion & Research: Critical domains identified include enhancing AMR surveillance, addressing potential inequitable effects, and bridging global evidence gaps.


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