The use and overuse of antimicrobials is one of the main factors responsible for the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance. This has become a serious threat to public health, notably because of the emergence and spread of highly resistant bacteria, and because there are very few novel antimicrobial agents in the research and development pipeline.
European countries increasingly implement actions to control antimicrobial resistance in the community through rational use of antimicrobials, including awareness campaigns on the prudent use of antibiotics, such as the European Antibiotic Awareness Day
. Information on antimicrobial consumption in Europe, and in particular the consumption of antibacterials, can be an important source for healthcare professionals and policy makers monitoring progress towards a more prudent use of antibiotics.
ECDC, through ESAC-Net, collects and analyses antimicrobial consumption data from the community (primary care) and the hospital sector:
- ESAC-Net is Europe-wide network of national surveillance systems of 30 EU/EEA countries (28 EU Member States and two EEA non-EU countries: Iceland and Norway).
- The data on antimicrobial consumption in Europe are made available through an interactive database and annual reports.