Changes in behaviour last year led to fall in antibiotic resistant infections

  20 November 2021

The incidence of antibiotic resistant bloodstream infections fell in England in 2020 for the first time since 2016, although numbers still remain higher than six years ago, data from the UK Health Security Agency have shown.

There were 55 384 antibiotic resistant bloodstream infections in 2020, down from 65 583 in 2019. Deaths attributable to antibiotic resistant bacteria also fell, to 2228 last year, from 2596 the year before. The reduction in antibiotic resistance in 2020 was mainly driven by fewer Escherichia coli bloodstream infections, the report found.

The agency said the reduction in all mono-microbial bloodstream infections, from 137 655 in 2019 to 127 449 in 2020, and in antibiotic resistant bloodstream infections was likely to have been due to changes in behaviour brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, such as less social mixing, enhanced hand hygiene, and fewer people in hospital.

Further reading: TheBMJ
Author(s): Elisabeth Mahase
Effective Surveillance  
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