Common bacterial infections were linked to one in eight global deaths in 2019—and represented the second leading cause of death that year, according to findings published in the Lancet by the Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) Project.
There were 7.7 million deaths in 2019 associated with 33 common bacterial infections, with five bacteria alone connected to half of these mortalities, according to the research by GRAM, a partnership between the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the University of Oxford. The deadliest bacterial pathogens and types of infection varied by location and age.
Second only to ischaemic heart disease as the leading cause of death, the analysis highlights reducing bacterial infections as a global public health priority. Building stronger health systems with greater diagnostic laboratory capacity, implementing control measures, and optimising antibiotic use are crucial to lessen the burden of disease caused by common bacterial infections, researchers said.