Drug-resistant bacteria killed more than 33,000 people in the European Union in 2015, according to a new study published this week in the Lancet, warning that resistant bacteria are a real threat to be taken seriously.
In a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, a team of doctors examined data from more than a dozen combinations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria across the continent.
They found that more than 670,000 people became ill due to five strains of bacteria in 2015, resulting in the deaths of approximately 33,110 people. The number of deaths in the EU related to resistant bacteria was equivalent to the cumulative mortality of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV during the same period.
While antibiotic use is skyrocketing in the world, doctors have been ringing the alarm regularly over the past decade with the emergence of multidrug resistant strains of bacteria.
Resistant bacteria: the hospital environment, the first site of infection
Of the more than 670,000 superbugal infections in Europe in 2015, almost two-thirds occurred in hospitals, the team behind the Lancet study said.
This suggests an urgent consideration of the treatment of bacterial resistance to antibiotics in these environments.
Italy and Greece lead the most affected countries
The researchers selected particularly the cases from Italy and Greece. Only Italy accounts for more than a third of all deaths from resistant bacteria in the European Union in the year under review.
During the study period, more than 10,000 people died in Italy of resistant bacteria, including methicillin-resistant E-coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In Greece, most of the deaths were attributed to a single strain of drug-resistant bacteria.
Alessandro Cassini Attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life years caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the EU and the European Economic Area by 2015: a population-level modeling analysis, The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
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