Multidrug-resistant bacteria are responsible for the death of 33,000 people in the European Union in 2015, according to calculations by European researchers, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The scientists developed a model for calculating contaminations and deaths for five types of infections based on data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance network (EARS).
For the year 2015, they estimate that 671,689 people would have infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the so-called superbugs, and 33,110 would have died from multidrug-resistant bacteria.
The impact is “comparable to the cumulative effect of influenza, tuberculosis and the AIDS virus” over the same period, the study’s authors note. The majority of deaths occurred among young children under 12 months and in adults over 65 years of age. The impact in terms of mortality is at its highest in Italy and Greece, with Italy alone accounting for more than one-third of all deaths associated with superbugs, according to the study.
Doctors regularly warn of the danger of the overuse of antibiotics, which makes fearsome bacteria resistant to these medicines.
Multidrug-resistant bacteria are responsible for 33,000 deaths in Europe
An Australian team warned last September about the spread of a bacteria resistant to all known drugs, Staphylococcus epidermidis, which can cause severe illnesses or even death, and which is related to methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Of the total of 670,000 multidrug-resistant bacteria that caused infections in 2015, nearly two-thirds were contracted in hospitals, noted the researchers who also said that there’s an “urgent need to take antibiotic resistance into account as a vital health issue for patients and the need to design alternative treatments for patients with other diseases who are vulnerable due to weakened immune systems or age.”
During the period under review, more than 10,000 people died in Italy from infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, a high figure even taking into account the aging population.