The development of antibiotics has added an average of 20 years to our lives. Yet the rise of antibiotic resistance is threatening to make them ineffective. This poses a significant future risk as common infections become untreatable.
Despite growing awareness, there is little accessible information on how the threat posed by antibiotic resistance is evolving, and how it differs by country. There are a myriad of bacteria to consider, and each may acquire different levels of resistance to a range of antibiotics. As a result, it is extremely difficult for a non-specialist to gain an accurate picture of the threat posed by antibiotic resistance.
Our interactive data visualisation aims to show 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 five common bacteria (such as E. coli) to a range of antibiotics for each of the EU/EEA member states.
In addition to raising awareness, 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 for bacterial infections that will allow health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time. You can read more about the prize here.
This data visualisation was developed by Dr. Cath Sleeman, quantitative research fellow at Nesta, and produced by Nina Cromeyer Dieke, digital content editor for the Longitude Prize at Nesta. Our thanks go to Dr. Adam P. Roberts at University College London, advisor to the Longitude Prize, for his scientific input and support.