Impact of antibiotic resistance is lower than expected
Bilthoven – The current impact of hospital acquired infections with multi-resistant bugs is lower than suggested by startling news articles. According to a study of Dutch researchers, bloodstream infections caused by multi-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli contributed an excess of 255,683 and 120,065 extra bed-days respectively. This translated to an estimated extra cost of €62.0 million, according to BURDEN (Burden of resistance and disease in European nations), the first prospective clinical investigation into the societal burden of hospital acquired infections from 31 European countries.
In PLoS Medicine (doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001104), Marlieke de Kraker, Peter Davey and Hajo Grundmann from the Dutch Centre for Infectious Disease Control report about excess mortality, excess hospital stay, and hospital expenditure calculated from data of the European Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS). Data from 1293 hospitals in 31 countries revealed that an estimated 5,503 excess deaths were associated with bloodstream infections caused by MRSA and 2,712 excess deaths from bloodstream infections caused by third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli.
By looking at trends in their analyses de Kraker et al. estimate that 97,000 resistant bloodstream infections and 17,000 associated deaths could occur in 2015, with associated increases in hospital stay and costs. They state that 'Forecasts about changes in the coming years are disturbing; despite anticipated gains in the control of MRSA, the persistently increasing number of infections caused by third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Gram-negative pathogens is likely to outweigh this achievement soon.