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First comprehensive analysis of global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) estimates resistance itself caused 1.27 million deaths in 2019 - more deaths than HIV/AIDS or malaria - and that antimicrobial-resistant infections played a role in 4.95 million deaths.

Third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (2019) © Lancet

Estimates for 204 countries and territories confirm AMR as a global health threat, with worst impacts in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), though higher income countries also face alarmingly high levels of AMR.

Rapid investment in new treatments, improved infection control measures, and optimised use of antibiotics are among the measures that can help countries protect their health systems against the threat of AMR.

More than 1.2 million people – and potentially millions more – died in 2019 as a direct result of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, according to the most comprehensive estimate to date of the global impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The analysis of 204 countries and territories, published in The Lancet, reveals that AMR is now a leading cause of death worldwide, higher than HIV/AIDS or malaria. It shows that many hundreds of thousands of deaths now occur due to common, previously treatable infections – such as lower respiratory and bloodstream infections – because the bacteria that cause them have become resistant to treatment.

The report highlights an urgent need to scale up action to combat AMR, and outlines immediate actions for policymakers that will help save lives and protect health systems. These include optimising the use of existing antibiotics, taking greater action to monitor and control infections, and providing more funding to develop new antibiotics and treatments.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website. 

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