The number of deaths in England and Wales for which C difficile or MRSA were recorded as a contributory factor fell sharply between 2007 and 2008.
The figure fell by 29 per cent to 5, 931, according to figures published today by the Office for National Statistics.
It is the first year there has been a fall in the combined total since 1999, when the figure was first recorded.
The number of death certificates mentioning MRSA fell by 23 per cent to 1,230 – the second consecutive year there has been a fall.
Age-standardised death rates for men and women show that deaths involving C difficile fell by 27 per cent for men and 30 per cent for women between 2007 and 2008.
For MRSA the death rates declined by 31 per cent and 13 per cent for men and women respectively.
Death rates for both C.difficile and MRSA were higher among older people.
Between 2004 and 2008 C.difficile was involved in one per 1,000 deaths, MRSA involved in three per 1,000 deaths.