Ten million people at risk if antimicrobial resistance isn’t tackled

27 December 2014

Infectious diseases, caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria, are a steadily increasing problem around the world. The consequences are huge, both from a human and economic perspective. If action is not taken, about ten million lives are at risk and cost is expected to reach above 100 trillion USD in 2050. This is stated in the report “Review on Antimicrobial Resistance”, initiated by the UK Prime Minister.

Already today about 50 000 people die each year in Europe and the US, and about 100 000 in other parts of the world, due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The figures in the UK review are alarming, and on top of the human suffering and healthcare related costs, the spread of AMR is expected to reduce global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2 – 3.5 percent, unless decisive action is taken. Countries with high levels of malaria, HIV or TB, such as India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Russia and the African continent, are particularly exposed.

Seek to find the most effective ways to combat resistance
Jim O’Neil, a well-known economist and author of the UK review, states the importance of taking immediate action against AMR to avoid undermining the world’s health care systems. One step to combat AMR is preventive measures, as highlighted by the WHO global action plan to combat AMR. The action plan involves 194 countries and is due in the spring of 2015.

Bactiguard’s technology reduces infections and the need for antibiotics
The world can no longer afford to avoid the problems related to infectious disease. One of the biggest challenges ahead is that AMR will undermine modern healthcare systems and treatments that rely heavily on antibiotics. Antibiotics are for example often used in connection with surgery, to reduce the risk of bacterial infections. AMR will make surgery far more dangerous when antibiotics are no longer effective. Patients undergoing cancer treatment are also more exposed to infections as their immune systems are suppressed.

Medical devices cause a majority of hospital acquired infections. Bactiguard provides an innovative and patented technology, which is safe for the patient and prevents bacterial growth on medical devices, thus reducing the risk of healthcare associated infections. By reducing the risk of infection, the need for antibiotics is also reduced. In simple terms, the infection that doesn’t happen needs no treatment. Bactiguard therefore has an important role to play in fighting healthcare associated infections and antibiotic consumption.