On 16 November 2021, to coincide with European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) and World Antibiotic Awareness Week, Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland published the ‘Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance (SONAAR) in 2020’ report.
The report reflects the One Health approach that encompasses antibiotic use and resistance in humans, animals, environment and food, with the interactions between them required to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) effectively. This report reiterates the importance of human and animal health professionals working together to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, while also providing information on the use of antibiotics by humans and in small animal veterinary practices, and levels of antibiotic resistance found in a range of important human and animal infections. ARHAI Scotland will continue to expand these areas in future years.
The report reveals that total antibiotic use by humans continues to fall in Scotland, reflecting the combined efforts of health professionals working together with the public to ensure antibiotics are only prescribed when necessary. The report outlines that, while AMR in humans is generally stable in Scotland, resistance has increased across some bacteria. COVID-19 has impacted healthcare delivery in both hospital and community settings, and the results presented in this report must be interpreted in the context of the impact caused by the pandemic.
The report is intended to support planning, prioritisation and evaluation of initiatives to optimise antimicrobial use and to minimise AMR.