33000 people die every year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

An ECDC study estimates that about 33,000 people die each year as a direct consequence of an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics and that the burden of these infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined. It also explains that 75% of the burden of disease is due to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and that reducing this through adequate infection prevention and control measures, as well as antibiotic stewardship, could be an achievable goal in healthcare settings.

Finally, the study shows that 39% of the burden is caused by infections with bacteria resistant to last-line antibiotics such as carbapenems and colistin. This is an increase from 2007 and is worrying because these antibiotics are the last treatment options available. When these are no longer effective, it is extremely difficult or, in many cases, impossible to treat infections.

Source: 33000 people die every year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Antimicrobial resistance

The latest Euro-barometer study shows that there has been a positive evolution in the use of antibiotics: 32% of people said they had taken antibiotics in the last twelve months, compared to 40% in the 2009 survey. However, many of these antibiotics were taken unnecessarily: 20% of  antibiotics were taken for flu or a cold and 7% took them without a medical prescription. 66% of the respondents know that antibiotics are of no use against colds, and 43% are aware that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses. Over two thirds of people would like to have more information about antibiotics.

An important milestone will be the forthcoming European legislation on veterinary medicines and medicated feed, which lays down a wide range of concrete measures to fight antimicrobial resistance and to promote the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials. As of 2022 in the EU, the use of antimicrobials for growth promotion in animals will be prohibited, as well as the preventive use of antimicrobials via medicated feed and in groups of animals. There will also be restrictions on metaphylactic use of antimicrobials, and the possibility to reserve certain antimicrobials for human use only. In addition, for their exports into the EU, non-EU countries will have to respect the ban on antimicrobials for growth promotion, as well as the restrictions on antimicrobials reserved for human use. The new EU regulations will thereby improve the protection of European consumers against the risk of spread of antimicrobial resistance through imports of animals or of products of animal origin

Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6405_en.htm

AMR action in Europe

In June 2017 the Commission adopted its second Action Plan against AMR. This ambitious action plan builds on the previous one, focusing on activities with a clear EU added value and, where possible, on measurable and concrete outcomes. The key objectives are built on three main pillars:

  • Making the EU a best practice region
  • Boosting research, development and innovation
  • Shaping the global agenda

The bi-annual EU AMR One-Health Network meetings provide members with a platform to present national action plans and strategies and keep each other up to date on their progress, to share best practices, and to discuss policy options and how to enhance cooperation and coordination.

To read more about AMR in Europe, go to: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/sante/newsletter-specific-archive-issue.cfm?archtype=specific&newsletter_service_id=327&newsletter_issue_id=11398&page=1&fullDate=Thu%2025%20Oct%202018&lang=default

World Tuberculosis Day

Globally, tuberculosis remains the single most deadly infectious disease. In 2016, there were over 10 million new tuberculosis cases and 1.7 million deaths worldwide. The European Union fully supports the international effort to address this, including the commitment made in Riga in March 2015 to fully eradicate tuberculosis by 2050; the 2017 “Berlin declaration”; and the 2017 “Moscow declaration to end Tuberculosis”. Building on the work of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation, in summer through a policy paper the Commission will address ways to eliminate tuberculosis, as well as HIV/AIDS, and significantly reduce viral hepatitis, in line with the objectives set out in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Vytenis Andriukaitis and other EU Commissioners urge leaders in Europe and beyond to take a multi-policy approach and address the social conditions that encourage its spread, in addition to mobilising funding for research, and ensuring access to preventative and curative healthcare for all.

To read the statement in full go to: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-18-2461_en.htm

How to use antibiotics wisely

WHO/Europe has launched a newly developed online course that aims to equip clinicians with the information they need to prescribe antibiotics appropriately and wisely. This free course, titled “Antimicrobial stewardship: A competency-based approach”, is available via the OpenWHO platform.

While enrolment is open to anyone, the course is particularly relevant for clinicians who frequently prescribe antibiotics. The discovery of these life-saving drugs is among the most important advances of medicine in the 20th century. However, data increasingly shows widespread misuse of antimicrobials across all health-care settings. This misuse contributes to the emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms, which threaten to undermine the effectiveness of antibiotics.

To read more on the WHO Europe website go to: WHO/Europe | Antimicrobial resistance – WHO/Europe launches online course for clinicians on prescribing and using antibiotics wisely

Assessing progress on reduction of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption

A set of indicators will assist European Union  Member States to assess their progress in reducing the use of antimicrobials and combatting antimicrobial resistance. These indicators have been established by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, following a request from the European Commission.

The indicators address both the human and animal sectors and they reflect antimicrobial consumption and antimicrobial resistance in the community, in hospitals and in food-producing animals. The indicators are based on data already gathered through existing EU monitoring networks.

To read more about this go to the European Medicines Agency website: http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2017/10/news_detail_002833.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1


Antibacterial agents in clinical development

As part of implementation of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO drew up a list of priority antibiotic-resistant pathogens (priority pathogens list; PPL) to guide research into and the discovery and development of new antibiotics. As a further step, WHO reviewed the publicly available information on the current clinical development pipeline of antibacterial agents to assess the extent to which the drug candidates act against these priority pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Clostridium difficile.

The review shows that the current clinical pipeline is still insufficient to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

To read this report in full: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/258965/1/WHO-EMP-IAU-2017.11-eng.pdf?ua=1



EU and FAO join forces to take action on food waste and antimicrobial resistance

The EU and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations join forces to take action on food waste and antimicrobial resistance.

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) José Graziano da Silva, today agreed to ramp up collaboration between the two organisations in tackling the problems of waste in food supply chains and antimicrobial resistance.

The FAO and the EU pledge to work closely together to halve per capita food waste by 2030, a goal established under the new Sustainable Development Goals global agenda. It also commits them to intensified cooperation on tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on farms and in food systems.

To read more about these initiatives on the European Commission website: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-3561_en.htm

Germany promotes G20 initiative against antimicrobial resistance

The German government’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is dedicating up to EUR 500 million in the coming decade to support the G20’s international research initiative devoted to fighting antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The initiative was announced in the G20 leaders’ final declaration at the end of the G20 summit in July. The BMBF’s funding pledge came shortly afterwards.

Germany has played a decisive role in getting the AMR initiative up and running during its G20 presidency. Ahead of the summit in Hamburg, the country organised and held the first-ever meeting solely for G20 health ministers.

To read more about this initiative on the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy website: http://www.exportinitiative-gesundheitswirtschaft.de/EIG/Redaktion/EN/Kurzmeldungen/News/2017/2017-08-15-germany-promotes-g20-initiative-against-antimicrobial-resistance.html


The world is running out of antibiotics

An analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis, launched by WHO shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The report found very few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections identified by WHO as posing the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis which kills around 250 000 people each year.

Source: WHO | The world is running out of antibiotics, WHO report confirms