By Reuters Staff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget request will propose nearly doubling federal funding to some $1.2 billion for the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the White House said on Tuesday.

The budget, which the administration is set to release next Monday, will include an almost $1 billion proposed investment in Department of Health and Human Services research to combat antibiotic resistance.

That figure includes $650 million to fund efforts by the National Institutes of Health and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to sharply expand investments in the development of antibacterial diagnostics and research.

A further $47 million would help fund Food and Drug Administration evaluation of new antibacterial drugs for patient treatments.

In addition, funding would increase at the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to $85 million and $75 million, respectively, to address issues tied to antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings, the White House said in a statement.

Department of Agriculture funding for antibiotic research and surveillance would nearly quadruple to $77 million, it added.

Calling antibiotic resistance one of the world's most pressing public health issues, the administration cited estimates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused each year by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States alone.

Obama signed an executive order last September launching federal efforts to combat the rise in antibiotic-resistance bacteria.