Surveillance Report: „Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe"
EARS-Net is a European network of surveillance systems, which is coordinated and funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and provides data on antimicrobial resistance. The data of this report comes from 30 EU/EEA countries in 2016 (data from 2015).
Antimicrobial resistance is defined as the “ability of a microorganism to resist the action of one or more antimicrobial agents” (ECDC 2017). Only with the certainty that effective antimicrobial agents exist are medical interventions such as surgeries or organ and stem cell transplantations safely possible. Analyses from the ECDC estimated that resistant bacteria are responsible for about 25.000 deaths in Europe annually.
The Surveillance Reports highlights that resistance percentages with regard to gram-negative bacteria are increasing. The rise of combined resistances to multiple antimicrobial groups leaves few treatment alternatives for patients suffering from these infections. Some interesting figures: (the bacterium Escherichia coli (E.coli) is the most common cause of bloodstream infection in Europe):
- Around half of the E.coli isolates that were reported to EARS-Net were resistant to at least one antimicrobial group. Resistances to aminopenicillin and fluoroquinolones were the most frequent. On the positive side: Carbapenem resistance remained rare in E.coli.
- For isolates with resistance to three antimicrobial groups these were aminopenicillin, fluoroquinolone and third-generation cephalosporin
- Although carbapenem resistance in blood isolates of E.Coli remains very low, it requires close monitoring.
The antimicrobial resistance situation is not identical in all European countries. In general, lower resistances are reported from countries in the north and higher percentages from countries in the south and east.