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Improving the estimation of the global burden of antimicrobial resistant infections

Direk Limmathurotsakul, Susanna Dunachie, Keiji Fukuda, Nicholas A Feasey, Iruka N Okeke, Alison H Holmes, Catrin E Moore, Christiane Dolecek, H Rogier van Doorn, Nandini Shetty, Alan D Lopez, Sharon J Peacock
Lancet Infectious Diseases 2019 August 16
31427174
Estimating the global burden of disease from infections caused by pathogens that have acquired antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is essential for resource allocation and to inform AMR action plans at national and global levels. However, the scarcity of robust and accepted methods to determine burden is widely acknowledged. In this Personal View, we discuss the underlying assumptions, characteristics, limitations, and comparability of the approaches used to quantify mortality from AMR bacterial infections. We show that the global burdens of AMR estimated in previous studies are not comparable because of their different methodological approaches, assumptions, and data used to generate the estimates. The analytical frameworks from previous studies are inadequate, and we conclude that a new approach to the estimation of deaths caused by AMR infection is needed. The innovation of a new approach will require the development of mechanisms to systematically collect a clinical dataset of substantial breadth and quality to support the accurate assessment of burden, combined with decision-making and resource allocation for interventions against AMR. We define key actions required and call for innovative thinking and solutions to address these problems.

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