Antimicrobial Resistance Efforts to Improve Infection Control Practices

Anurag Sharma
Anurag Sharma

Updated · Oct 17, 2023

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According to Antimicrobial Resistance Statistics, Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) refers to the ability of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, to develop resistance or become immune to those that are designed to kill or inhibit their growth. It is a natural biological phenomenon that occurs when microorganisms adapt and evolve in response to the use of antimicrobial drugs. 

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  • By 2050, an estimated 10 million lives could be lost annually due to drug-resistant infections.
  • AMR could cause global economic damage on par with the 2008 financial crisis if not addressed promptly.
  • The annual cost of AMR in the United States alone is projected to reach $65 billion by 2050.
  • Each year at least 700,000 deaths worldwide are attributed to antibiotic-resistant infections.
  • Drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050, surpassing deaths from cancer.
  • Approximately 25,000 people in Europe die each year from infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria.
  • In the United States, at least 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur annually, resulting in over 35,000 deaths.
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)infections have a mortality rate as high as 50% in some cases.

Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance Worldwide

  • In some countries, up to 82% of Escherichia coli infections are resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, a common class of antibiotics.
  • Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins, a critical class of antibiotics, has been reported in more than 50% of Klebsiella pneumoniae infections in some countries.
  • The prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is estimated to be around 3.4% among previously treated cases.
  •  Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections have been reported in healthcare settings worldwide, with prevalence rates ranging from less than 1% to over 50% in some countries.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have been reported in both healthcare and community settings globally, with prevalence rates ranging from less than 1% to over 50% in some countries.
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) infections have been documented in various regions, with prevalence rates ranging from less than 1% to over 60% in some countries.
  • Developing countries bear a disproportionately high burden of AMR due to various factors, including limited access to healthcare and inappropriate use of antibiotics.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, up to 90% of Escherichia coli infections, a common cause of urinary tract and bloodstream infections, are resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
  • In some developing countries, the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections can exceed 50% in certain healthcare settings.
  • In some parts of the world, such as certain regions in Asia and the Mediterranean area, CRE rates in healthcare settings can exceed 50%.
  • CRE infections have high mortality rates, ranging from 40% to over 50% in some studies.

Global Deaths Associated with Bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance

Healthcare-Associated Infections and Community-Setting Statistics

  • Approximately 7% to 10% of patients in developed countries acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection during their hospital stay.
  • In the United States, it is estimated that about 1 in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection at any given time.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common drug-resistant bacterium associated with healthcare settings.
  • In the United States, approximately 80,461 invasive MRSA infections occur annually, resulting in around 11,285 deaths.
  • In the United States, an estimated 13,100 Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections occur annually, leading to around 1,100 deaths.
  • CDI is a common healthcare-associated infection, particularly associated with antibiotic use.
  • In the United States, it is estimated that there are around 223,900 cases of CDI and 12,800 deaths annually.
  • In some countries, up to 90% of antibiotic use occurs in community settings, such as primary care clinics and outpatient settings.
  • In the United States, about 30% of antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings are unnecessary.

Impact of Antimicrobial Resistance Statistics

Healthcare-associated Infections (HAIs)

  • Approximately 700,000 deaths globally are attributed to HAIs caused by drug-resistant pathogens.
  • In the United States, around 2 million people acquire HAIs each year, resulting in an estimated 99,000 deaths.
  • In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 31 hospitalized patients have at least one HAI at any given time. (Source: WHO)
  • In Europe, an estimated 4.2 million patients acquire HAIs each year, resulting in approximately 37,000 deaths directly attributed to these infections.

Treatment Failure Rates

  • The failure rate of antibiotics commonly used to treat UTIs caused by Escherichia coli increased from 5.7% in 2011 to 13.9% in 2017.
  • Approximately 60% of UTIs worldwide are caused by multi-drug-resistant bacteria.
  • The treatment failure rate for community-acquired pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae ranges from 17% to 26% due to antibiotic resistance.
  • Globally, an estimated 81% of countries have reported cases of gonorrhea with resistance to at least one commonly used antibiotic.
  • Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has a treatment success rate of only 57%, significantly lower than drug-susceptible TB.

Increased Healthcare Costs

  • The global economic impact of AMR could range from $2 trillion to $100 trillion by 2050 if not effectively addressed.
  • In high-income countries, the cost of AMR-related infections could amount to 2-3% of gross domestic product.
  • Treating antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States adds an estimated $20 billion in direct healthcare costs annually.
  • Hospitalizations due to drug-resistant infections in the U.S. cost an average of $34,000 per patient, which is 1.5 times higher than hospitalizations caused by non-resistant infections.
  • AMR-related healthcare costs in the European Union are estimated to be around €1.5 billion per year.
  • The annual cost of AMR-related infections in Europe, including direct healthcare costs and productivity losses, is estimated to be €7.1 billion.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, the economic burden of AMR is significant. By 2050, it is estimated that AMR could push up to 28.3 million people into extreme poverty.

Mortality Rates

  • According to a review on antimicrobial resistance, if left unaddressed, drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050.
  • In Europe, AMR is responsible for an estimated 33,000 deaths each year.
  •  In the United States, it is estimated that drug-resistant infections cause over 35,000 deaths annually.
  • In the United States, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are estimated to cause around 10,000 deaths each year.
  • Globally, approximately 240,000 deaths occur annually due to MDR-TB.
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Anurag Sharma

Anurag Sharma

He has been helping in business of varied scales, with key strategic decisions. He is a specialist in healthcare, medical devices, and life-science, and has accurately predicted the trends in the market. Anurag is a fervent traveller, and is passionate in exploring untouched places and locations. In his free time, he loves to introspect and plan ahead.