Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health.


  • 250,000 deaths were caused by multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB) in 2015. 480,000 people fell ill with MDR-TB and an additional 100,000 people with RR-TB in 2015. (World Health Organization, 2016)
  • Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. (World Health Organization, 2016)
  • No major types of antibiotics have been developed in the last 30 years, despite the rise of “superbugs” resistant to available antibiotics. (World Health Organization, 2014)
  • 23 million antibiotic prescriptions were dispensed by Canadian pharmacies in 2016. (Public Health Agency of Canada)
  • 1 in 4 urinary tract infections are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and can’t be treated by antibiotics which were effective just 10 years ago. (
  • Twice as many patients die from infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. (World Health Organization)
  • 64% more deaths occur in individuals with MRSA, than for individuals with a non-resistant form of the infection. (World Health Organization)
  • 8,000 Canadians died last year from hospital-acquired infections. (Canadian Patient Safety Institute, 2016)
  • 25,000 European patients die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. (European Commission)
  • €1.5 billion is estimated to be spent each year on costs related to drug-resistant infections including healthcare expenditures and productivity losses. (European Commission)
  • 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are written in doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-based clinics each year in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016)
  • In the United States, at least 2 million people become infected each year with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017)
  • In the United States, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections kill nearly 11,285 people a year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016)

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