Public Health Agency

Resistant Organisms

The ability of organisms to become resistant to antimicrobials has increased in recent decades and remains a cause of public health threat locally, nationally and internationally. Almost all infectious agents, i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, have employed levels of multidrug resistance, resulting in treatment failure, prolonged illness, higher healthcare costs and increased morbidity and mortality.  All healthcare facilities are affected by the emergence and transmission of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms.

Examples of resistant organisms include:

  • MRSA (Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • CA-MRSA (Community-acquired Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • PVL-SA (Panton Valentine Leucocidin Staphylococcus aureus)
  • VRSA (Vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • VRE (Vancomycin resistant Enterococci)
  • ESBL’s (Extended spectrum beta lactamases’)  
  • GRE (Glycopeptide resistant Enterococci
  • CPE (Carbapenemase resistant Enterococci)
  • MDR-TB (Multidrug resistant Tuberculosis) 

To achieve successful control of resistant organisms, a variety of combined interventions are required; these include:

  • Reduce the demand for and enhance the effectiveness of antimicrobials
  • Hand hygiene improvements
  • Implementation of standard precautions and transmission based precautions
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning
  • Education of healthcare professionals and the general public
  • Ensure optimal update of vaccinations
  • Maintain robust surveillance data to monitor the spread of resistant organisms


Click to download the Multidrug Resistant Bacteria (MDR) patient information leaflet

Click to download the Extended Spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) patient information leaflet

Click to download the Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) patient information leaflet

Click to download the Carbapenemase resistant Enterococci (CPE) patient information leaflet