Quantifying the alarm from antibiotic resistance

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Science  28 Oct 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6311, pp. 430-431
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6311.430-b

Antibiotic resistance is a major global fear, but how fearful should we be? Multidrug resistance (MDR) is high among developing economies that are vulnerable to purveyors of substandard drugs and where over-the-counter sales are not controlled. Lim et al. collected mortality data on bacteremia from 10 public hospitals in northeast Thailand between 2004 and 2010. During this period, the incidence of bacteremia increased, and high case fatality rates were observed for MDR strains, especially hospital-acquired Acinetobacter spp. Extrapolating to the whole of Thailand for 2010 indicates that among patients with hospital-acquired MDR bacterial infection, 43% of deaths represented excess mortality caused by MDR—which is high compared with similar estimates for the United States or Europe.

eLife 10.7554/eLife.18082 (2016).

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