Bacterial infections to blame for 1 in 8 deaths worldwide

By Dennis Thompson

health day reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Bacterial infections cause one in eight deaths and are second only to heart disease as the leading cause of death worldwide, a new report reveals.

About 7.7 million people died in 2019 from infection with one of 33 common types of bacteria, according to the report published November 21 in The Lancet. This is nearly 14% of deaths for that year.

More than 75% of bacteria-related deaths are due to one of three diseases: lower respiratory tract infections, bloodstream infections and abdominal infections, the study authors said.

And five specific and generally well-known germs — Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa – were responsible for more than half of deaths from bacterial infection.

The pathogen associated with the highest number of deaths worldwide was S. aureus, with 1.1 million deaths. This bacteria causes “staph” infections that can lead to pneumonia and sepsis.

The other four bacteria were each associated with more than half a million deaths: E.coli (950,000 deaths); S.pneumoniae (829,000); K. pneumoniae (790,000); and P. aeruginosa (559,000), the researchers reported.

More deaths were linked to S. aureus and E.coli each than HIV/AIDS in 2019, which killed 864,000 people.

Despite this, investigators noted that HIV research received $42 billion in funding, compared to $800 million for E.coli to research.

“These new data reveal for the first time the full magnitude of the global public health challenge posed by bacterial infections,” said co-investigator Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University. from Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle.

“It is of the utmost importance to put these results on the radar of global health initiatives so that a deeper dive into these deadly pathogens can be conducted and appropriate investments made to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses. ‘infections,” Murray said in a newspaper. Release.

The mortality rate from bacterial infection varied by location. Sub-Saharan Africa recorded the highest rate, with 230 deaths per 100,000 population. By comparison, Western Europe, North America and Australasia had a combined rate of 52 deaths per 100,000.

The germs associated with the highest number of deaths also differed by age.

S. aureus caused the most deaths among people aged 15 or older, while Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi killed the most children between the ages of 5 and 14. Meanwhile, bacteria from pneumonia killed most children under 4.

More information

Harvard Medical School says more about how to prevent infections.

THE SOURCE: The Lancetpress release, November 21, 2022

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