Survey results released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that the situation continues to worsen with regard to the spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae
(CPE) in the EU, with 8 countries reporting an interregional spread and 3 countries an endemic situation. This means that in these 3 countries most hospitals are repeatedly seeing patients that cannot be treated with carbapenems, a last-line antibiotic group. On the occasion of the 8th European Antibiotic Awareness Day, ECDC is releasing the results of the European Survey of Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae
(EuSCAPE) on the spread in Europe’s hospitals of bacteria resistant to carbapenems. On the other hand, the survey also shows that national capacity for the containment of CPE in the EU is increasing.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said: “the ECDC results published today show that the threat of antibiotic resistance is increasing day by day. If left unchecked, it has the capacity to turn the clock back on medicine by a hundred years. We are working together with the Member States and our international partners to ensure that we strengthen the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance across all sectors in a "one-health" approach and to secure the availability of new antimicrobial agents for the future”.
ECDC is also releasing its latest data on antibiotic resistance (EARS-Net) and consumption (ESAC-Net) in Europe. Resistance continues to rise for most bacteria and antibiotics under surveillance; however, there are some exceptions like meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). For the first time, data show a significant decrease in antibiotic consumption in the community in five European countries: Denmark, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Nevertheless, antibiotic consumption in the hospital sector, overall and for carbapenems, is still increasing.
ECDC Acting Director, Dr Andrea Ammon said: “The further spread of CPE, meaning bacteria resistant to carbapenems, a last-line group of antibiotics, is a cause for major concern in the EU as alternative options for the treatment of infected patients are limited. ECDC is encouraged to see that many EU countries have taken action to combat CPE, with national plans and other measures. However, there is more work to be done at all levels, local, national and European”. Dr Ammon added: “Decreasing antibiotic consumption in 5 countries shows that Europe is moving towards a more prudent use of antibiotics in the community. Prudent antibiotic use in both the community and in hospitals is critical to make sure that we are getting the most out of existing drugs”.
Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe said: “This year, on the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week, WHO/Europe releases its first report on antibiotic resistance in five non-EU countries of the European Region. Complementing the EU overview, data show that antibiotic resistance in non-EU countries is comparable with their EU neighbours. This is a first step to get a better insight of antibiotic resistance in the whole Region and provides guidance to countries that are building or strengthening their national surveillance. We call on all European countries to join WHO/Europe and ECDC’s networks and complete the picture.”
To mark European Antibiotic Awareness Day, activities promoting prudent use of antibiotics under the banner “European Antibiotic Awareness Day and the global health challenges of antibiotic resistance” are being organised in more than 40 countries across Europe. ECDC is a partner of the World Health Organization for the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week with the slogan, “Antibiotics: Handle with Care”.
The European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the United States “Get Smart About Antibiotics” Week
, the Canadian Antibiotic Awareness Week
and the Australian Antibiotic Awareness Week, as well as activities in New Zealand and Japan, are being launched simultaneously during the week of 18 November in an effort to show global solidarity in addressing antibiotic resistance.
New EAAD Infographic on “How does antibiotic resistance spread?”
Summary of the latest data on antibiotic consumption in the European Union: ESAC-Net surveillance data, November 2015