Paul Cook, MD
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina

Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat to human health. The use and overuse of antibiotics have perpetuated and exacerbated this problem.1 In 2010, US health care providers prescribed 258 million courses of antibiotics in the outpatient setting, resulting in 833 prescriptions per 1,000 persons.2 In the hospital setting, it is estimated that up to 50% of all antibiotics are prescribed improperly or needlessly.3

Annually, more than 2 million individuals are infected with antibiotic-resistant organisms.4These patients are at increased risk for mortality and morbidity, extended hospitalizations, and increased health care costs.5 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the United States alone, more than 23,000 people die as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections each year.4 The cost of antimicrobial resistance has been estimated to exceed $20 billion.6,7 As a result, the CDC now classifies antimicrobial resistance as one of the most serious health threats worldwide.4

Read the rest of the story. This is a very detailed article with lots of charts and info about specific antibiotic resistance.