Antimicrobial report ‘should ring alarm bells’

The report analysed 2017 data on antimicrobial resistance submitted by 28 EU states.

Data shows growing resistance to salmonella and campylobacter 

Antimicrobials used to treat diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans are becoming less effective, according to a report by the European Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

EU Commissioner for health and food safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, said: “The report released today should ring – again – alarm bells. It shows that we are entering into a world where more and more common infections become difficult – or even sometimes impossible – to treat.”

The report analysed 2017 data on antimicrobial resistance submitted by 28 EU states. It found that resistance to fluoroquinolones is so high in Campylobacter in some countries that they no longer work for the treatment of severe cases.

Most countries reported that Salmonella in humans is becoming increasingly resistant to fluoroquinolones. Multidrug resistance is high in Salmonella found in humans (28.3%) and animals, particularly in S. Typhimurium.

Mike Catchpole, ECDC’s chief scientist, said. “Now is the time to turn the tide on antimicrobial resistance, if we want to keep antibiotics working. It’s particularly worrying when it comes to combined resistance: even low proportions mean that many thousands of patients across the EU have limited treatment options for severe infections.”

Marta Hugas, EFSA’s chief scientist, said: “We have seen that when Member States have implemented stringent policies, antimicrobial resistance has decreased in animals. Annual reporting by European and national agencies includes noteworthy examples. This should serve as an inspiration for other countries.”