Over 35,000 people die annually from antimicrobial resistance in EU/EEA: report

More than 35,000 people die from antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections in the European Union (EU)/the European Economic Area (EEA) each year, according to a new report released on Thursday.

The report by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which covers the years 2016 to 2020, shows that the impact of AMR “is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.”

Overall, the latest data show significantly increasing numbers of infections and deaths for almost all bacterium — antibiotic resistance combinations, especially in healthcare settings.

The report also shows that despite total antimicrobial consumption decreasing by 23 percent in the EU/EEA between 2012 and 2021, the use of “broad-spectrum” antibiotics increased, particularly in hospitals.

“We see concerning increases in the number of deaths attributable to infections with antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, especially those that are resistant to last-line antimicrobial treatment,” said ECDC Director Andrea Ammon.

“Each day, nearly 100 people die from these infections in the EU/EEA. Further efforts are needed to continue to reduce unnecessary antimicrobial use, improve infection prevention and control practices, design and implement antimicrobial stewardship programs and ensure adequate microbiological capacity at national level,” she added.

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