Jean Lee, a PhD student at Melbourne's Doherty Institute, inspects the antibiotic-resistant superbug Staphylcocus epidermidis on an agar plate. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Superbugs are likely to kill nearly 400,000 Canadians and cost the economy about $400 billion in gross domestic product over the next 30 years, warns a landmark report.

An expert panel cautions in When Antibiotics Fail: The growing cost of antimicrobial resistance in Canada that the percentage of bacterial infections that are resistant to treatment is likely to grow from 26 per cent in 2018 to 40 per cent by 2050.

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses and $388 billion in gross domestic product over the next three decades.

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