A decrease in antibiotic consumption has been reported across the EU/EEA during the COVID-19 pandemic

“Antimicrobial resistance remains a serious challenge globally,” said Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. “Antimicrobial resistance is a silent pandemic happening here and now. Although antibiotic consumption has generally decreased during a pandemic in the EU // EEA, we must increase our public health response. In the EU, we are ramping up our actions and making the fight against antimicrobial resistance Microbes are a priority. This includes actions under our Pharmaceutical Strategy, legislation on veterinary medicines and pharmaceutical feeds, and the new health emergency preparedness and response authority, HERA. We are losing lives because medicines are no longer feasible and we need to urgently step up global action. Investing in health today saves lives tomorrow.”

“Despite the focus on the ongoing pandemic, we need to continue our efforts to reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics,” said Andrea Ammon, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We also need to improve infection prevention and control practices in hospitals and other healthcare settings to significantly reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. In the primary care sector, many infections can be prevented through vaccination, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing and hand hygiene, This may contribute to reducing the need for antibiotics.”

The decline in antibiotic consumption occurred mostly in the primary care sector and may be the result of a decrease in the number of primary care consultations, either due to reluctance to seek health care for mild, self-curing infections, or difficulties in getting a doctor’s appointment. Consultation. This likely led to fewer antibiotic prescriptions for mild, self-curing infections and had a more pronounced effect in countries where overuse and inappropriate use were common before the COVID-19 pandemic. It may also result from a lower incidence of non-COVID-19 respiratory infections in the EU/EEA in 2020, a potential consequence of many non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as physical distancing, closures, respiratory etiquette, use of face masks and promotion of Hand hygiene, developed in response to the epidemic.

The significant reduction in consumption of antibiotics used to treat respiratory tract infections in the community in EU/EEA countries in 2020 is consistent with both hypotheses. In the hospital sector, there was a decrease in antimicrobial consumption between 2019 and 2020 in about two thirds of countries and an increase in the remaining EU/EEA countries that reported data.

“Although there has been a decline in antibiotic consumption in EU/EEA countries, preliminary results from the eastern part of the WHO European Region and Central Asia indicate that over time, antibiotic use has increased. We know that access to antibiotics Vital is a major concern, that over-the-counter sales still occur in parts of the European region, and that available antibiotics are often the antibiotics associated with the highest risk of developing resistance.COVID-19 is forcing us to combat health threats on multiple fronts simultaneously. Antimicrobial resistance is among the most serious challenges,” said Dr. Hans-Henri B. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

Regarding levels of antimicrobial resistance, more than half of Escherichia coli Isolates have been reported to ECDC, and more than a third of isolates Klebsiella pneumoniae Resistance to at least one group of antimicrobials was under control, and co-resistance to several groups of antimicrobials was frequent. Carbapenem resistance was common in P. aeruginosa And Acinetobacter Species. There was also an increasing trend in the percentage of vancomycin-resistant isolates E. faecalis in the EU/EEA, which increased from 11.6% in 2016 to 16.8% in 2020.

Resistance to antibiotics of the latter type such as vancomycin and those in the group of carbapenems remains a major problem. When these antibiotics become ineffective, there are very limited treatment options that may not work in all cases, sometimes with fatal results. Resistance to last-line antibiotics also undermines the effectiveness of life-saving medical interventions such as cancer treatment and organ transplantation.

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Andrew Naughtie

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