Antibiotics More evidence on link between antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance
The Joint Interagency Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance Analysis (JIACRA) report highlights that there are still important differences across the EU in the use of antibiotics in animals and humans. Reducing their unnecessary use will have an impact on the occurrence of resistance. Overall antibiotic use is higher in food-producing animals than in humans, but the situation varies across countries and according to the antibiotics. In particular, a class of antibiotics called polymyxins – which includes colistin – is used widely in the veterinary sector. It is also increasingly used in hospitals to treat multidrug-resistant infections. Other antibiotics are more often used in humans than in animals. These include third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins and quinolones, antibiotics that are also considered critically important for human health.
The report notes that resistance to quinolones, used to treat salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis in humans, is associated with use of antibiotics in animals. The use of third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins for the treatment of infections caused by E. coli and other bacteria in humans is associated with resistance to these antibiotics in E. coli found in humans.
The report is the result of close cooperation between the three EU agencies, each drawing on their specific expertise and data from monitoring of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic consumption in animals and humans. The conclusions are in line with those of the first report published in 2015. However, the availability of better quality data allowed for a more sophisticated analysis. Experts of the three agencies recommend further research to better understand how the use of antibiotics and resistance affect one another.