In the long back and forth between science and agriculture over the source of antibiotic resistance in humans — Due to antibiotic overuse on farms, or in human medicine? — one question has been stubbornly hard to answer. If antibiotic-resistant bacteria do arise on farms, do they leave the farm and circulate in the wider world? And if they do, how much damage do they do?
A multi-national team of researchers recently published their answers to both questions. Their answer: In Europe, 1,518 deaths and 67,236 days in the hospital, every year, which would not otherwise have occurred.