Antibiotic resistance across Europe: E. coli, MRSA and Klebsiella

We've published a new data visualisation that shows the latest developments in antibiotic resistance across Europe. While antibiotics have added an average of 20 years to our lives, the rise of resistant bacteria is threatening to make antibiotics ineffective. This poses a significant risk as common infections could become untreatable.

Despite growing awareness, it can be difficult for non-specialists to understand how the threat posed by antibiotic resistance is evolving. There are a myriad of bacteria and antibiotics to consider, and there are large inter-country differences in resistance rates.

The data visualisation shows how Europe is faring in the fight against resistance to antibiotics. It uses the latest available data (released today) from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The visualisation shows acquired resistance of three common bacteria, E.Coli, Klebsiella and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), to a range of antibiotics for each of the EU/EEA member states.

The most striking result is the large variation in resistance levels across Europe. For a given bacteria and antibiotic, resistance rates can range from just above zero in one country to over 60 per cent in another. Broadly, countries in the south and east of Europe tend to report higher resistance percentages than those in the north of Europe.

Nesta is doing its part to fight antibiotic resistance by running the Longitude Prize. The prize will give £8 million to the inventor of a diagnostic test that will help to solve the problem of global antibiotic resistance. The challenge is to create a cost-effective, accurate, rapid, and easy-to-use test that will allow health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time. You can read more about the prize here.


Cath Sleeman

Cath Sleeman

Cath Sleeman

Head of Data Discovery, Data Analytics Practice

Dr Cath Sleeman is the Head of Data Discovery.

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