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700,000 People die worldwide from AMR infections

Each year ~700,000 people die from drug-resistant infections of common bacterial strains, HIV, TB, and malaria. Poor global reporting and surveillance mean that this number is likely an underestimate of the problem! If nothing changes, by 2050 AMR will be the leading cause of death, with an estimated 10 million deaths, surpassing the estimated 8.2 million deaths due to cancer. This would mean one person every three seconds. The associated economic burden would mean a total GDP loss of $100 trillion, and each person in the world today would be $10,000 worse off. In the US alone, >2 million infections a year are caused by bacteria resistant to at least the first-line of antibiotic treatment, costing the US health system $20 billion in excess costs each year. The resistance rates are projected to continue to rise, in the short term to 40% of infections, and in 10 years to 100% by some estimates. It is expected that hospital acquired resistant infections will double.

AMR is not a problem that can be solved by any one country, or even any one region. It is a complex problem affecting all of society, driven by many interconnected factors. The world we live in is connected where people, animals, and food travel globally, bringing the microbes they carry with them, easily spreading resistant microbes across borders and continents. Antimicrobial resistance has been found in all regions of the world. In India, nearly 60,000 newborns die each year from multidrug-resistant and extremely drug-resistant TB infections.

It's not just infectious disease patients at risk

As the antibiotics available to us become less effective, the risks of many treatments that rely on antibiotics increase. This will undermine interventions many would not directly associate with antibiotics. Cancer chemotherapy and organ transplants are two such examples. These medical treatments leave the patients highly vulnerable to bacterial infections. The risk of most invasive surgeries is routinely and dependably decreased by effective antibiotic prophylaxis and effective therapy for infections that occur. Up to 33% of surgical patients get a postoperative infection, which 51% of the time is antibiotic resistant. The ventilation that intubated patients receive in intensive care units (ICUs) results in already high rates of infections, but the mortality risk will raise even further if the treatment options for their infections deplete.

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AMR remains stable in the Netherlands

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Although the number of resistant bacteria is rising globally, the number of resistant bacteria in the Netherlands is lower and remaining fairly stable. In 2009, the Dutch livestock sector was a big contributor to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by it's large use of antibiotics. The change started in 2010, when the Dutch decided on specified reduction of antibiotic consumption targets, and established the SDa, a veterinary medicines authority. The SDa analyzed livestock farmer's antibiotics use and set goals. With these in place, there was tremendous reduction of antibiotic use in just three years, and the now the livestock sector is no longer based on systemic use of antibiotics. Now livestock farmers focus more on health management - the quality of the feed, the barn, and the drinking water and they carry out hygiene measures. The Dutch have reduced their antibiotic use in livestock by 64% compared to 2009 use, and almost no antibiotics used for treating humans are used on the animals. The result: antibiotic resistance has gone down too and remained there.

Leading AMR Pathogens

CHARM is focused on the highest priority infections, caused by pathogenic species who are acquiring resistance.

Learn more about AMR Pathogens