On the occasion of the 7th European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is releasing its latest EU-wide data on antibiotic resistance (EARS-Net annual report and interactive database).
Over the last four years (2010 to 2013), the percentages of K. pneumoniae resistant to fluoroquinolones,third-generation cephalosporins and aminoglycosides, as well as combined resistance to all three antibiotic groups has increased significantly at EU/EEA level. During the same period, resistance to third-generation cephalosporins increased significantly at EU/EEA level for E. coli.
Carbapenems are an important group of last-line antibiotics for treatment of infections involving multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria such as K. pneumoniae and E. coli. Although carbapenem resistance remains at relatively low levels for most countries, the significant increase of the population-weighted EU/EEA mean percentage of carbapenem resistance in K. pneumoniae is a cause for serious concern and a threat to patient safety in Europe. In countries with high levels of multi-drug resistance, including resistance to carbapenems, only a few therapeutic options are available, among these are polymyxins. In these countries, presence of resistance to polymyxins is an important warning that options for the treatment of infected patients are becoming even more limited.
The percentage of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) showed a significant decreasing trend at EU/EEA level for the period 2010 to 2013, but the decrease was less pronounced compared to the previous four-year period. Although the continuous decreasing trend at EU/EEA level gives reason for optimism, MRSA remains a public health problem in Europe. In 2013, the EU/EEA population-weighted mean MRSA percentage remained high, and seven out of 30 reporting countries had MRSA percentages above 25%.
Monday November 17, 2014/ ECDC/ European Union.