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Antibiotic Resistance Rising in Europe

A new report on antimicrobial resistance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), published in January 2017, shows rising resistance to broad-spectrum antibiotics and multiple classes of antibiotics across Europe.

Antibiotic resistance rising in Europe

The annual report was published by The European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net), the main EU surveillance system for AMR. All 28 EU Member States and two of the three EEA countries (Iceland and Norway) participate in EARS-Net.

The results presented in this report are based on antimicrobial resistance data from invasive isolates reported to EARS-Net in 2016 (data referring to 2015), and on trend analyses of data reported for the period 2012–2015.

This report highlights an especially worrying situation with regard to gram-negative bacteria where resistance percentages reported from many parts of Europe are high and, in many cases, on the increase.

The annual report also shows that antimicrobial resistance levels in Europe continue to vary by geographic region, with countries in Northern and Western Europe generally having much lower levels of resistance than those in Southern and Eastern Europe.

The authors conclude: “The ongoing increase in antimicrobial resistance to a number of key antimicrobial groups in invasive bacterial isolates reported to EARS-Net is therefore of great concern and constitutes a serious threat to patient safety in Europe. Prudent antimicrobial use and comprehensive infection prevention and control strategies targeting all healthcare sectors are the cornerstones of effective interventions aiming to prevent selection and transmission of bacteria resistant to antimicrobial agents.”

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