ITALY, Parma. A set of indicators will assist European Union (EU) 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.
Examples of indicators to assess antimicrobial resistance in human medicine include the proportion of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that are resistant to meticillin (MRSA) and the proportion Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria that are resistant to third-generation cephalosporins. These two pathogens are of major public health importance. For veterinary medicine, an example indicator is the proportion of E. coli bacteria from food-producing animals that are susceptible or resistant to a number of antimicrobials. In terms of consumption, the suggested primary indicators are the human consumption of antimicrobials, and the overall sales of veterinary antimicrobials.
The indicators, presented in the form of a scientific opinion, are the result of close cooperation between the three EU agencies, each drawing on their specific expertise and data from monitoring of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption in animals and humans.