A new report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reveals that resistance has continued to increase across Europe in spite of attempts to raise global awareness of the danger to the fundamentally important antibiotic class of drugs. Without them, some infectious diseases could become untreatable and some forms of major surgery would again become perilous.
The report, released on the occasion of the 9th European Antibiotic Awareness Day, is based on the latest EU-wide data on antibiotic resistance and antibiotic consumption. In 2015, antibiotic resistance continued to increase for most bacteria and antibiotics under surveillance. In particular, the EU average percentage of carbapenem resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae increased from 6.2% in 2012 to 8.1% in 2015, and combined resistance to carbapenems and polymyxins (e.g. colistin) was sometimes reported. These two groups of antibiotics are considered last-line antibiotics as they usually are the last treatment options for patients infected with bacteria resistant to other available antibiotics. While antibiotic consumption in hospitals significantly increased in several EU Member States, antibiotic consumption in the community decreased in six EU Member States.