The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), European Medicines Agency (EMA) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have published a joint report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the EU and EEA, which calls for a One Health response.
The report finds that overall consumption of antibiotics in humans in the EU and EEA decreased by 23% between 2011 and 2020, with the mean total consumption of antibiotics dropping by almost 18% between 2019 and 2020. However, relative use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has increased and significant variability across countries suggests that reductions are still possible. Efforts to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in food-producing animals have resulted in a 43% decrease in use between 2011 and 2020 in the 25 countries with consistent reporting.
Despite reductions in antibiotic consumption in both humans and food-producing animals, AMR in bacteria from humans in the EU and EEA has increased for many antibiotic-bacterium combinations since 2011. The report highlights concern about the rise in resistance to critically important antibiotics used to treat common healthcare-associated infections.
The report concludes that evidence that AMR can spread between animals, humans and the environment is mounting. Reducing the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, replacing them where possible and rethinking the livestock production system in a One Health approach is essential for the future of animal and public health.
Source: ECDC, 7 March 2022