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Europe: Antimicrobial resistance remains high, finds EU report


Bacteria found in humans, animals and food continue to show resistance to widely used antimicrobials, states 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 or ECDC.

The findings underline that AMR poses a serious threat to public and animal health.

Infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobials lead to about 25,000 deaths in the EU every year.

“Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger,” said Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU commissioner for health and food safety.

“We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough.”

“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.”

The report shows that in general multi-drug resistance in Salmonella bacteria is high across the EU.

However, experts note that resistance to critically important antimicrobials used to treat severe human cases of Salmonella infection remains low.

Salmonellosis, the disease caused by these bacteria, is the second most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU.

The report also found extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli has been detected in beef, pork, pigs and calves.

Bacteria that produce ESBL enzymes show multi-drug resistance to β-lactam antibiotics, which include penicillin derivatives and cephalosporins.

The prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli varied across countries, from low to very high.