In excess of 33,000 people are killed by superbugs per year in Europe alone, research by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has found.
Researchers also described anti-biotic resistant pathogens as “threatening modern healthcare”, stressing they undermine existing drugs and available forms of treatment.
The research, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, warned that the number of superbug-related deaths has already risen sharply, up from 25,000 in 2007.
Furthermore, experts noted that young children and the elderly are particularly at risk to antibiotic-resistance pathogens.
Using data from 2015, the ECDC found significant variation in the number deaths caused by superbugs from country to country within Europe, with Greece and Italy suffering the most fatalities.
The situation is better in other parts of Europe, but even countries with very well-developed healthcare systems and pharmaceutical industries, such as Germany, are still suffering a few thousand related deaths per year.
Earlier, the House of Common’s health and social care select committee warned that superbugs could kill ten million people per year by 2050 unless swift, concerted action is taken to avert such a crisis.
The committee voiced similar concerns to the ECDC, warning “modern medicine” could be “lost” and rendered ineffective by superbugs, urging the internal community to launch “coordinated action” to tackle the pressing matter.