EU report provides basis for fight against development of resistant bacteria

EU agencies have published a new joint report to help the European Commission (EC) in the development of an action plan against the “rising threat” posed by antimicrobial resistance.

The report, which was carried out at the request of the EC, combines data from five European monitoring networks that gather information from the European Union (EU) Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. 

In addition to noting that the use of certain antimicrobials in animals and humans is associated with resistance to these antimicrobials in bacteria from animals and humans, the report concludes that “important differences” exist in the consumption of antimicrobials in animals and in humans between European countries.

Published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the report is seen as the EU’s first fully integrated analysis of the consumption of antimicrobial agents and occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from humans and food-producing animals. 

“It also identifies data limitations that need to be addressed to allow further analysis and conclusions to be drawn,” it is stated in the report summary. “These include additional data on antimicrobial consumption by animal species, data on antimicrobial consumption in hospitals in more European countries and monitoring of resistant bacteria in the normal flora from both healthy and diseased people.”

This is the first in a series of reports that EMA, EFSA and ECDC are planning to publish based on the data collected by various monitoring networks.

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