HealthDay News — A total of 7.7 million deaths were associated with 33 bacterial pathogens in 2019, comprising 13.6 percent of all global deaths, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in The Lancet.
Kevin S. Ikuta, M.D., from Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, and colleagues estimated deaths associated with 33 bacterial genera or species across 11 infectious syndromes in 2019 using data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2019 and the Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance 2019 study. A total of 343 million individual records or isolates covering 11,361 study-location-years were included.
The researchers found 7.7 million deaths were associated with the 33 bacterial pathogens from an estimated 13.7 million infection-related deaths in 2019. Deaths associated with the 33 bacterial pathogens comprised 13.6 and 56.2 percent of all global deaths and all sepsis-related deaths, respectively, in 2019. Among the investigated bacteria, five leading pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) were responsible for 54.9 percent of deaths. There was variation noted in the deadliest infectious syndromes and pathogens based on location and age. In 135 countries, S. aureus was the leading bacterial cause of death and was also associated with the most deaths in individuals aged older than 15 years worldwide. S. pneumoniae was the pathogen associated with the most deaths among children younger than 5 years.
“A sobering reality is that a high burden of treatable infections occurred in very young age groups,” the authors write.