Antimicrobial resistance in South Korea: A report from the Korean global antimicrobial resistance surveillance system (Kor-GLASS) for 2017

Changseung Liu, Eun Jeong Yoon, Dokyun Kim, Jong Hee Shin, Jeong Hwan Shin, Kyeong Seob Shin, Young Ah Kim, Young Uh, Hyun Soo Kim, Young Ree Kim, Seok Hoon Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


At the end of 2015, a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was proposed by the World Health Organization, and the Global AMR Surveillance System (GLASS) was subsequently initiated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of South Korea established a customized AMR surveillance system for South Korea, called Kor-GLASS, in early 2016. A pilot phase of Kor-GLASS was operated from May to December 2016 with six sentinel hospitals, and phase I of Kor-GLASS started in January 2017 with eight sentinel hospitals. Previous surveillance data for overestimated AMR due to duplicate isolation of drug-resistant pathogens were corrected and error-free AMR data were compared with those from other countries. One-half (53.2%, 377/708) of Staphylococcus aureus blood strains exhibited resistance to cefoxitin, indicating methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Resistance to ampicillin in Enterococcus faecalis blood strains was rare (0.6%, 1/175), while the resistance rate to penicillin was 26.3% (46/175). Resistance to vancomycin (34.0%, 98/288) and teicoplanin (18.8%, 98/288) was frequently observed in Enterococcus faecium strains. The resistance rate of Escherichia coli strains to cefotaxime was 32.4% (574/1772), and that of Klebsiella pneumoniae strains was 26.1% (181/693). The resistance rates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains to imipenem and meropenem were 19.5% (29/149) and 18.1% (27/149), respectively. And 92.1% (187/203) of Acinetobacter baumannii strains were resistant to both imipenem and meropenem. The high incidence of bacteremia caused by major AMR pathogens among hospitalized patients especially in intensive care units emphasized the importance of hospital infection control and the need to improve the crowded hospitalization system in South Korea. The isolation rate of the Salmonella spp. is decreasing, reflecting the current socio-economic status of South Korea. The proportions of bacterial species in the blood strains were similar to those in other Asian countries with similar lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-859
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Infection and Chemotherapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by a fund ( KCDC2017E4400101# ) from the Research Program of Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention .

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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