ECDC estimates 33,000 deaths each year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections

A study from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (Solna, Sweden) has estimated that approximately 33,000 individuals die each year as a direct consequence of an infection where the bacteria is resistant to antibiotics.

The study aimed to estimate the burden of 16 resistance–bacterium combinations in countries of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2015. The team used data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network and developed disease outcome models for five types of infection based on systematic reviews of the literature.

The results suggest that the burden of antibiotic-resistant infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined, causing an estimated 33,000 deaths each year.

The team also report that 75% of this burden is owing to healthcare-associated infections and that 39% of the burden is caused by bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics such as colistin and carbapenems – a concerning increase from 2007.

The authors of the report suggest that strategies to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria require co-ordination at the EU/EEA and global level, but also that prevention and control strategies should be tailored to needs at a country level.

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Sources: Cassini A, Högberg LD, Plachouras D et al. Attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years caused by infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU and the European Economic Area in 2015: a population-level modelling analysis. Lancet Infect. Dis. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30605-4 (2018);


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