Antimicrobial resistance

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to public health throughout the world. The risk of finding ourselves unarmed to fight ultra-resistant bacteria is now a reality. bioMérieux is at the front line in the fight against bacterial resistance.

The healthcare challenge

  • Predictions are alarming: by 2050, over 10 million deaths annually will be associated with antimicrobial resistance (O'Neill Report, 2016), which represents one death every 3 seconds. 
  • Each year in the United States, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible for 80,000 infections and 11,000 deaths. Close to 250,000 people are hospitalized every year for a Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infection, and 14,000 of them die. In a majority of cases, the infection is related to taking antibiotics.
  • The socio-economic impact of resistance is considerable: in the United States, for example, the overall hospital cost of multi-drug resistant infections is more than $20 billion. Loss of productivity is estimated to generate an additional cost of $35 billion per year.
  • By 2050, it is estimated that this phenomenon will lead to a 2 to 3% drop in world GDP.

The role of diagnostics

As a world leader in microbiology and a pioneer in the field of resistance detection tests, bioMérieux is at the front line in the fight against bacterial resistance.

  • bioMérieux organizes high-level scientific meetings throughout the world to offer experts the opportunity to discuss how to address the worrying emergence of resistant bacterial strains.
  • Our range of products covers the needs of all public health professionals:
  • Identifying resistance: Beginning effective antibiotic therapy as early as possible can have a decisive impact on the patient’s survival.
  • Monitoring resistance: Effective surveillance of antimicrobial resistance patterns at all levels (national and local, as well as in hospital settings) is essential to set up programs to combat infections. The understanding of bacterial ecology plays an important role in better controlling the emergence of resistant bacteria.
  • Screening for resistance: By screening for multidrug-resistant bacteria among asymptomatic patients who are most likely to be carriers (active surveillance), the necessary preventive measures can be put in place – combining improved hygiene with isolating patients who are carriers in order to limit the spread of these bacteria. This approach is effective to control the transmission of resistant bacteria and to reduce infections, antibiotic treatment and, ultimately, resistance to antibiotics.
  • Preventing resistance: Diagnostic tests, which can differentiate between bacterial and viral infections, play an important role in limiting the over-prescription of antibiotics. Such tests make it possible to identify patients who need antibiotics so that they are prescribed only when necessary.