The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 AR Threats Report shows that antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi cause more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths in the United States each year—that’s at least one infection every 11 seconds and one death from antibiotic resistance every 15 minutes. The new report shows that there were nearly twice as many annual deaths from antibiotic resistance as CDC originally reported in 2013. Since then, prevention efforts have reduced deaths by 18 percent overall and by nearly 30 percent in hospitals. Without continued vigilance, this progress may be challenged by the increasing burden of some infections.
New in the 2019 report:
- Antibiotic resistance threats list—The list of 18 germs includes two new urgent threats: drug-resistant Candida auris and carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, bringing the number of urgent threats to five. These are added to the three identified in 2013: carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Clostridioides difficile.
- Watch list—The new report identifies three additional germs that have yet to spread resistance widely in the United States, but that CDC and other public health experts closely monitor.
- Trends—For some germs, CDC studied how estimates of antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths has changed over time. Resistant infections and deaths from germs often associated with hospitals are steadily declining. Resistance to essential antibiotics is increasing in seven of the 18 germs.
- Electronic health data—For the first time, the infection and death estimates for healthcare-associated germs were calculated using electronic health data from hospitals.
“The new AR Threats Report shows us that our collective efforts to stop the spread of germs and preventing infections is saving lives,” says Robert R. Redfield, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The 2013 report propelled the nation toward critical action and investments against antibiotic resistance. Today’s report demonstrates notable progress, yet the threat is still real. Each of us has an important role in combating it. Lives here in the United States and around the world depend on it.”