A new report from Public Health England has found that there were an estimated 60,788 new antibiotic resistant severe infections in 2018; equivalent to 165 new antibiotic resistant infections per day.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a severe global threat, with a UN report recently revealing that if left unchecked, it could cause as many as 10 million deaths per year by 2050.

For the seven priority bacterial pathogens reported, the rate of bloodstream infection (BSI) in 2018 was 145 per 100,000 of the population; a 22% increase from 2014. The most common cause of BSI was found to be E coli, and rapid increased use of cephalosporin and quinolone antibiotics over the last 3 years was associated with increased resistance detected in E. coli BSI

In the heat of the rising AMR statistics, GPs have been “hailed” for lowering antibiotic consumption. Antibiotic consumption peaked in 2014, and has since reduced by 9% from 20.0 to 18.2 defined daily doses per 1000 inhabitants per day between 2014 and 2018.

The PHE report also revealed that the number of antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in the community reduced by 16.7% (from 750 to 624 per 1,000 inhabitants per year) between 2014 and 2018 across all age groups, but particularly in the under 65s.

Despite the promising prescription figures, antibiotic use in hospitals increased by 2.8% (when using hospital admissions as the denominator) in the last five years. This increase is, however, moving at a slower rate compared to the previous five years.

As a result of the rising risks of AMR, PHE says that it is engaging with professionals and the public in projects such as the Keep Antibiotics Working and Antibiotic Guardian campaign. The organisation also worked with students to deliver the now annual healthcare student national AMS conference.