European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Multidrug-resistant bacteria remain a public health issue in Europe


On the occasion of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day, ECDC is releasing new European-wide surveillance data on antibiotic resistance from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net). With annually up to 400,000 patients reported to suffer from infections resistant to multiple antibiotics, the data show that antibiotic resistance remains a public health problem across the European Union. In Klebsiella pneumoniae, a common cause of infection amongst hospital patients, an emerging trend is the proportion of resistance to powerful last-line antibiotics, such as carbapenems. Proportions of resistance range from less than 1% to more than 25%. Without effective last-line antibiotics, doctors face the dilemma of not having any treatment options left.
The focus of this year’s European Antibiotic Awareness Day is promoting prudent antibiotic use in hospitals in order to turn the tide on antibiotic resistance. Prudent use means only using antibiotics when they are needed, with the correct dose, dosage intervals and duration of the course. Activities to promote prudent use of antibiotics are taking place in 36 different European countries, including all member states of the European Union.

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