Antibiotic Resistance

Enhanced surveillance and analytic capabilities showed antibiotic resistance costs billions annually

MRSA increased 41% from 2019 to 2020

MRSA increased 41% from 2019 to 2020.

In 2021, CDC released first-ever estimates showing that treating infections for six multidrug-resistant germs in health care contributes more than $4.6 billion in US health care costs annually. This analysis, conducted with the University of Utah, shows infection prevention must be prioritized as a first line of defense to prepare for and respond to current and emerging threats.

In 2019, CDC showed that prevention measures reduced rates of certain healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). However, COVID-19 created the perfect storm for spreading healthcare-associated and antibiotic-resistant infections. CDC reported substantial increases in several HAIs during 2020, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which increased 41% over 2019 numbers. The pandemic’s impact intensified the ongoing problem of antibiotic resistance (AR) in the US.

CDC has been focusing attention and resources on strengthening domestic and global efforts to curb AR across One Health. AR germs are a One Health problem—they can spread between people, animals, and the environment. Turning to 2022, CDC and its partners will forge ahead to empower the nation and world to comprehensively respond to AR threats and reduce disparities among disproportionately affected populations.

This Matters Because

Infections from just 6 multidrug-resistant pathogens are estimated to cost more than $4.6 billion annually.

background for 2021 accomplishments PDF