‘Antimicrobial resistance is putting human and animal health in danger’

Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger, the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, said.

Andriukaitis was speaking following 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).

The report found that bacteria found in humans, animals and food continues to show resistance to widely used antimicrobials.

The findings underline that AMR poses a serious threat to public and animal health, according to the EFSA.

Substantial efforts have been made to stop the rise in AMR, but more needs to be done, Andriukaitis said.

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,” he said.

The latest report represented the results of the analysis of data submitted by Member States for 2015, focusing on pigs and cattle.

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

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

The report also highlights that antimicrobial resistance levels in Europe continue to vary by geographical region.

Countries in northern and western Europe generally have lower resistance levels than those in southern and eastern Europe, research shows.

The reason for the geographical variations are probably linked with usage level of antimicrobials in a certain region, Head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants Unit, Marta Hugas, 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,” Hugas said.