Antibiotic resistance has become a global health problem. Over the past few years, several attempts have been made to quantify the burden of disease caused by antibiotic resistance, with some predicting that by 2050 10 million people will die because of antibiotic resistance, per year! This so-called attributable mortality – the fraction of mortality in infections that can be attributed to antibiotic resistance – has now also been estimated for major antibiotic-resistant pathogens in the Netherlands. In this symposium, preceding the PhD defense ceremony of Wouter Rottier, these findings will be contrasted to international findings.
The quantified burden of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, or the perceived burden, underlies decision making for infection control measures to limit spread of such bacteria in healthcare settings. In light of the new findings on the burden of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the Netherlands, the justification for the ‘highly resistant micro-organisms’ (BRMO) status will be debated. Regardless of the outcome of the debates, they will provide food for thought!
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