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Combined resistance and carbapenem resistance increasing in Europe, shows the ECDC annual report on antimicrobial resistance surveillance

30 Jan 2017

Increasing combined resistance and carbapenem resistance in certain bacteria remain a concern, highlights the annual ECDC report with data on antimicrobial resistance in Europe

Over the last four years, antimicrobial resistance in gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, is on the rise in many parts in Europe. 

Of special concern is the increase in combined resistance to third-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides, which has increased significantly both at EU/EEA level and in many of the Members States between 2012 and 2015.

The increase in combined resistance is worrying, as this leaves few treatment alternatives for patients suffering from infections caused by these bacteria. It may also lead to an increased use of carbapenems – a last-line group of antibiotics -, which contributes to  the emergence of carbape­nem-resistant bacteria.

Although the percentage of isolates resistant to carbapenems remained low in most EU/EEA countries in 2015, resistance to carbapenems increased significantly for K. pneumoniae at EU/EEA level between 2012 and 2015. A majority of the carbapenem-resistant isolates were also resistant to third-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and aminoglycosides, further complicating the choice for effective treatment.

The ECDC Annual report on Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe
The ECDC annual report combines the antimi­crobial resistance data reported to EARS-Net by 30 EU/EEA countries in 2016 (based on 2015 data), with trend analyses of data for the period 2012–2015.

Since November 2016, the latest antimicrobial resistance data for Europe are available in the ECDC Surveillance Atlas on Infectious Diseases, as interactive maps and tables. Highlights of the antimicrobial resistance data had already been released for the European Antibiotic Awareness Day in November 2016.

Read the report: Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe, 2015

More information:
Summary of the latest data on antibiotic resistance in the European Union
Surveillance Atlas on Infectious Diseases
European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2016
Carbapenemase-producing bacteria in Europe: Interim results from the European survey on carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (EuSCAPE) project 2013
ECDC Evidence brief: Update on the spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Europe, November 2015
Antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption

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