PARIS | Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are responsible for the deaths of 33,000 people in the European Union in 2015, according to calculations by European researchers published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Researchers have developed a model for calculating infections and deaths for five types of infections using data from the European antimicrobia resistance surveillance network (EARS).
For the year 2015, they estimate 671,689 the number of people infected and 33,110 the number of deaths attributable to multidrug-resistant bacteria.
The impact is "comparable to the cumulative effect of influenza, tuberculosis and the AIDS virus" over the same period, the authors note.
The majority of deaths occur in young children under 12 months and over 65 years of age. The impact in terms of mortality is highest in Italy and Greece, with Italy alone accounting for more than one-third of deaths associated with super-bacteria, according to the study.
Doctors regularly warn about the danger of overconsumption of antibiotics, which makes resistant fearsome bacteria.
An Australian team warned last September about the spread of a bacterium that is resistant to all known drugs, Staphylococcus epidermidis, which can lead to serious illness or death, and is related to meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). ).
Of the total of 670,000 infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria estimated in 2015, nearly two-thirds were contracted in the hospital, note researchers who stress "the urgency of taking into account antibiotic resistance as a given of vital health for patients and the need to design alternative treatments for patients who have other diseases and are vulnerable because of diminished immune defenses or age. "
Italy and Greece account for one-fifth of infections, according to the study.
During the period under review, more than 10 000 people died in Italy of infections, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, a high figure even if the aging of the population is taken into account.