[Skip to content]

Friday 23 August 2019
EasySite
Search our Site
.

MRSA infection : UK and Europe

MRSA bug
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
The increase in MRSA infection in UK hospitals is a growing concern for both doctors and patients.
 
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a type of bacteria which has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics. MRSA infection has become increasingly difficult to treat, and can lead to death. In terms of antibiotic resistance in hospitals, the UK has one of the worst records, particularly for MRSA. For some people, the incidence of MRSA infection in UK hospitals has been one of the factors which has encouraged them to seek hospital treatment and surgery abroad.
 
The number of cases of MRSA in the UK has been rising sharply - from 2,422 in 1997 in England and Wales, to 7,684 in 2003/4 in England alone. Official figures show that about 15% of reported cases result in death.
 

MRSA statistics across Europe

The EARSS (European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System ) monitors antimicrobial resistance in Europe. It maintains a comprehensive surveillance and information system that provides comparable and validated data on the prevalence and spread of major invasive bacteria such as MRSA. According to EARSS (European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System ) Norway had less than  0.6% MRSA in 2005.
 
The following data has been extracted from an EARSS report covering the period 1999-2002. The data shows the proportion of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in each country which is methicillin resistant. It does not show the incidence of MRSA infection.
  

Country

Reported  %age of MRSA in 2002

Greece
48.6%
United Kingdom
44.5%
Germany
27.2%
Spain
23.5%
Belgium
19.2%
Czech Republic
6.2%
Netherlands
1.0%
Sweden
0.7%
Norway
0.2%
 
The full report is available on the EARSS web site as a PDF file.
 
It's also worth reading our Guide to Hospital Infection.