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Resistance to antimicrobials still strong across the EU

By Aidan Fortune , 22-Feb-2017

Antimicrobial resistant bacteria is still rampant
Antimicrobial resistant bacteria is still rampant

Bacteria found in humans, animals and food continue to show resistance to antimicrobials across the EU. 

According to the latest report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), general multi-drug resistance in salmonella bacteria is high across the EU.

EFSA has estimated that infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobials lead to about 25,000 deaths in the EU every year. The research found that across the entire European Union, 27.8% cases of salmonella spp in humans had a resistance to ampicillin.

The report also found that more than 10% of the tested campylobacter coli bacteria in humans showed resistance to two critically important antimicrobials (fluoroquinolones and macrolides), which are used to treat severe cases of campylobacter infections in humans.

Last November, the EU Commission announced that as part of its ‘Leading the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)’, a new Action Plan will be launched in 2017.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger. We have put substantial efforts into stopping its rise, but this is not enough. We must be quicker, stronger and act on several fronts. This is why the Commission will launch a new Action Plan this summer that will give a new framework for future coordinated actions to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.”

Mike Catchpole, chief scientist at ECDC, said: “It is of particular concern that some common types of salmonella in humans, such as monophasic salmonella typhimurium, exhibit extremely high multi-drug resistance. Prudent use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine is extremely important to address the challenge posed by antimicrobial resistance. We all have a responsibility to ensure that antibiotics keep working.”

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