ECDC attributed 33,000 deaths per year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

07/11/2018 573 Views
ECDC attributed 33,000 deaths per year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

A study published by the Lancet with data from the European Center for Disease Control has reached the conclusion that infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria were responsible for 33.110 deaths in the European Union and European Economic Area in 2015. These estimates are based on data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net) data from 2015.

The worst performing countries when it comes to the burden of infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria are Italy, Greece, Romania, Portugal and Cyprus. The countries scoring higher on this matter are Iceland, Estonia, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to public health and preventive action is paramount to tackle this major issue. Moreover, the increasing incidence of infections is yet another hazard for the many impaired healthcare systems across the EU. Moreover, the study assesses that the estimated deaths are a direct consequence of an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics and that the burden of these infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined. It also describes that 75% of the burden of disease is due to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and other healthcare settings. Possible solutions suggested by the study range from reducing infectious-diseases through adequate infection prevention and control measures as well as antibiotic stewardship.

The authors said: “the estimated burden of infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU/EEA is substantial compared to that of other infectious diseases, and increased since 2007. Strategies to prevent and control antibiotic-resistant bacteria require coordination at EU/EEA and global level. However, our study showed that the contribution of various antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the overall burden varies greatly between countries, thus highlighting the need for prevention and control strategies tailored to the need of each EU/EEA country”.

Finally, the study reveals that 39% of the burden is caused by infections with bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics such as carbapenems and colistin. This represents an increase from 2007 and is alarming because there are no more antibiotics available besides these that seem to start being ineffective.

The results of this study are also used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to estimate the economic burden of antibiotic resistance.

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