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MRSA : Statistics in UK and Europe

MRSA bacteria (Multi resistant Staphylococcus aure
MRSA bacteria (Multi resistant Staphylococcus aureus) [Newton Graphic Science Magazine]

The following information indicates the extent of the serious problem of MRSA infection in UK hospitals. 


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.


The number of cases of MRSA 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 MRSA cases result in death.


MRSA statistics across Europe

In terms of antibiotic resistance in hospitals, the UK has one of the worst records, particularly for MRSA. . For people who are concerned about the possibility of MRSA infection in UK hospitals has been one of the factors which has encouraged them to seek hospital treatment abroad.


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.






Reported  %age of MRSA in 2002



United Kingdom








Czech Republic









Related links

The full report is available on the EARSS web site as a PDF file - download here.

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