Health

Drug-resistant bacteria spreading in Europe

BERLIN (AP) — A last-line defense against dangerous infections is becoming less effective in Europe because bacteria are increasingly resistant to drugs.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control says countries in Europe are recording increasing numbers of cases where hospital-acquired bacterial infections can't be treated with antibiotics called carbapenems.

The agency said in a report released Friday that five southern European countries saw carbapenem-resistant bloodstream infections with Klebsiella pneumonia bacteria last year, compared with two countries in 2009.

It also said resistant Acinetobacter species have been found in more than a quarter of all infections in eight of 18 reporting countries. ECDC Director Marc Sprenger called the findings a "very worrying development" for the treatment of diseases that for decades had been thought conquered thanks to antibiotics.

ECDC: http://www.ecdc.europa.eu

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