Online mapping tool and new CDDEP report show rise in drug-resistant infections and antibiotic use; CDDEP calls for prioritization of drug conservation over new R&D efforts

MWASHINGTON, D.C. and NEW DELHI (17 September 2015) — Researchers at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) released new data today documenting alarming rates of bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics that can lead to life-threatening infections across the world. Though wealthy countries still use far more antibiotics per capita, high rates in the low- and middle-income countries where surveillance data is now available—such as India, Kenya, and Vietnam—sound a warning to the world. For example, in India, 57 percent of the infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, a dangerous superbug found in hospitals, were found to be resistant to one type of last-resort drug in 2014, up from 29 percent in 2008. For comparison, these drugs, known as carbapenems, are still effective against Klebsiella infections in 90 percent of cases in the United States and over 95 percent of cases in most of Europe.

The findings were released via CDDEP’s ResistanceMap, an interactive online tool that allows users to track the latest global trends in drug resistance in 39 countries, and antibiotic use in 69 countries. It includes infections caused by 12 common and potentially deadly bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This is the first time data from a significant number of developing countries have been brought together publicly.

CDDEP also issued the first report to look comprehensively at the current state of global antibiotic use and drug resistance in humans, livestock and the environment. The report, The State of the World’s Antibiotics, 2015, lays out six strategies that belong in every national plan to halt the spread of resistance. Report authors say antibiotic stewardship is the key component of that action, and they challenge the frequently-cited notion that the problem with antibiotic resistance is a lack of new drugs in the antibiotic pipeline.

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