Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Patients in north Africa and the Middle East are using antibiotics in sharply rising quantities far beyond the global average, raising concerns over the escalating risks of resistance to medicines to treat bacterial infections. Estimated antibiotic consumption for 204 countries between 2000 and 2018 shows a 46 per cent increase in global antibiotic usage, with a surge in nations including India and Vietnam.

Numerous multicoloured pills

While many poorer countries have inadequate access to antibiotics, leading to unnecessary deaths through lack of adequate treatments, other middle and higher income countries are using volumes far beyond global norms.

The study, based on a combination of prescription data and statistical modelling, shows that the highest rate of consumption in a single country — measured as a defined daily dose per 1,000 people per day — is in Greece, at nearly 45.9, compared with a global average of 14.3 and an average of 21.1 in Western Europe.

There has also been a sharp rise in the Middle East, where antibiotics are often provided without prescriptions, which risks the development of bacterial strains resistant to drugs.

The data is based on work led by a team at the University of Oxford, with Professor Christiane Dolecek and Dr Annie Browne.

The full story is available on the Financial Times website

Read 'Global antibiotic consumption rates increased by 46 percent since 2000' on the University of Oxford website

Read the full publication ‘Global antibiotic consumption and usage in humans, 2000-2018: a spatial modelling study’ on the Lancet Planetary Health website

Similar stories

Study finds steady increase in WHO-validated artemisinin resistance markers in Asia

From 2002-2018, there has been a steady increase in the places and proportion of infected people reporting validated kelch13 (K13) artemisinin resistance markers, according to a study in The Lancet Microbe. This increase in artemisinin resistance threatens efforts to eliminate malaria in Asia by 2030 — and control efforts in other endemic regions. The authors say that more consistent data collection, over longer time periods in the same areas, and rapid sharing of data are needed to map the spread of resistance and better inform policy decisions.

Global Research on AntiMicrobial resistance (GRAM) project

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is responsible for at least 1.27 million deaths per year — with over 97,000 deaths in 2019 in SE Asia alone, according to a study published in The Lancet by the Global Research on AntiMicrobial resistance (GRAM) project, who urged urgent action from policymakers and health communities to avoid further preventable deaths.

Susie, Phaik Yeong, Richard and Paul among new full Oxford professors!

In the 2021 Oxford Recognition of Distinction round, four MORU colleagues were awarded Full Professor title.

RECOVERY Trial launches in South Africa

The world’s largest clinical trial investigating treatments for COVID-19 has now launched in South Africa, with the first patient recruited today. This is the fifth country to take part in RECOVERY, joining Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom.

RECOVERY Trial wins ‘Oscar of Higher Education’ for STEM Research Project of the year

The RECOVERY Trial has been awarded the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Award in the ‘Research Project of the Year: STEM’ category.

All-nighter: staying up to fight malaria

Featured in Nature, Victor Chaumeau collects mosquitoes in Myanmar to better understand how to control malaria.