The use of certain antimicrobials in animals and humans is associated with resistance to these antimicrobials in bacteria from animals and humans. There are also important differences in the consumption of antimicrobials in animals and in humans between European countries. These are some of the findings of the first integrated analysis of data from humans, animals and food in Europe published jointly by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Comparison of antimicrobial consumption data in animals and humans in 2012, both expressed in milligrams per kilogram of estimated biomass, revealed that overall antimicrobial consumption was higher in animals than in humans, although contrasting situations were observed between countries. The consumption of several antimicrobials extensively used in animal husbandry was higher in animals than in humans, while consumption of antimicrobials critically important for human medicine (such as fluoroquinolones and 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins) was higher in humans.
In both humans and animals, positive associations between consumption of antimicrobials and the corresponding resistance in bacteria were observed for most of the combinations investigated. In some cases, a positive association was also found between antimicrobial consumption in animals and resistance in bacteria from humans. While highlighting findings of concern, these results should be interpreted with caution owing to current data limitations and the complexity of the AMR phenomenon, which is influenced by several factors besides antimicrobial consumption.
Friday January 30, 2015/ EMA / European Union.