ESKAPE Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance


ESKAPE pathogens are a group of six bacteria that can cause serious hospital-acquired infections and resist commonly used antibiotics . ESKAPE is an acronym that stands for Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species . These bacteria are Gram-positive or Gram-negative and can be found in the gut flora, soil, water, or other surfaces . They can infect different parts of the body, such as the lungs, blood, urinary tract, or wounds .

ESKAPE pathogens are a major threat to global public health and clinical practice because of their multidrug resistance, which is caused by excessive or inappropriate use of antimicrobials or substandard pharmaceuticals. These bacteria have developed various mechanisms to evade or `escape` the action of different classes of antibiotics, such as β-lactams, glycopeptides, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, macrolides, and others . Some of these mechanisms include antimicrobial inactivation or alteration, antimicrobial target modification, membrane permeability reduction, efflux pumps, and biofilm formation .

Due to these factors, fewer and fewer antibiotic treatments are effective in eradicating ESKAPE pathogens infections, while at the same time there are now no new antibiotics being created due to lack of funding. These ESKAPE pathogens, along with other antibiotic-resistant bacteria, are an interweaved global health threat and are being addressed from a more holistic and One Health perspective .