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Antimicrobial resistance remains high, claims EU report

Bacteria found in humans, animals and food continue to show resistance to widely used antimicrobials, says 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).

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 to stop 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.”

The report also highlights that antimicrobial resistance levels in Europe continue to vary by geographical region, with countries in Northern and Western Europe generally having lower resistance levels than those in Southern and Eastern Europe. Marta Hugas, Head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants unit, said: “These geographic variations are most likely related to differences in antimicrobial use across the EU.

“For example, countries where actions have been taken to reduce, replace and re-think the use of antimicrobials in animals show lower levels of antimicrobial resistance and decreasing trends.”

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