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Driven by widespread antibiotic use, bacterial infections are becoming increasingly resistant to treatment, and the pipeline for new antibiotics is running dry. Recent reports estimate that, without action, by 2050 resistance to antimicrobial drugs will cause up to 10m deaths a year globally and reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by 2-3.5%.

These dire warnings are similar to those for climate change. A 2°C rise in global average surface temperature above pre-industrial levels will reduce GDP by about 3%. However, the difference with climate change is that economic analyses have helped to inform recommendations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and decisions made by the international community, such as the Paris Agreement.

We believe the antibiotic resistance debate must also include these sorts of analyses.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Laurence Roope (Senior Researcher, Nuffield Department of Population Health), Sarah Wordsworth (Associate Professor, Nuffield Department of Population Health) and Richard Smith (University of Exeter). 

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