EU Commission warns of massively increasing antibiotic resistance

EU Commission warns of massively increasing antibiotic resistance

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Antibiotic resistance has increased worldwide in recent years. The resistance rates of bacteria to antibiotics continue to increase in the EU. According to health experts, the problem must be tackled quickly, since otherwise treatment options could be lacking for many diseases.

Worldwide increase in antibiotic resistance
Health experts have been warning about a further increase in antibiotic resistance for years. So far, however, it has not stopped. It has only recently been reported that bacterial strains that are resistant to the emergency antibiotic colistin have also spread here. These super germs were first discovered in Germany. In this context, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) had warned against the “transferability of a resistance gene in human and veterinary medicine”. The APA news agency is now reporting that bacterial resistance to antibiotics is increasing across the EU. This is shown in a new report by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC / Stockholm) and the European Food Security Authority (EFSA / Parma).

Resistance rates of almost 70 percent
“Every year, around 25,000 people die in the EU from bacterial infections caused by resistant germs. However, this danger is not limited to Europe, but a global problem that requires global solutions, ”said EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. According to the APA report, Campylobacter germs - especially those of poultry, other meats and products made from them - are the most common cause of foodborne infections in the EU. For example, resistance rates against the broad-spectrum antibiotic ciprofloxacin (a fluoroquinolone) of almost 70 percent were observed in broilers. According to the information, up to 60 percent of bacteria resistant to it were found in samples from humans.

Lack of treatment options
According to experts, the Campylobacter problem is relatively difficult to get to grips with. Animals are vaccinated against Salmonella, but not against Campylobacter. Campylobacter is also a germ that naturally occurs in the gut in poultry. Therefore, radiation or spraying with a chlorine solution would be the only absolutely reliable solutions. Every effort should therefore be made to suppress resistance, otherwise treatment options could be lacking in the event of illness.

Few alternatives
As the APA further reported, resistance rates of around 30 percent against tetracyclines, sulfonamides and ampicillin were found in patients with salmonellosis. It was similar for poultry samples. And multi-resistant Salmonella bacteria were high with a frequency of around a quarter in patients and up to 30 percent in broilers and turkeys. As mentioned at the beginning, resistance to E. coli bacteria for the antibiotic colistin, which was first identified, could also pose a problem in the future. If this therapy option is eliminated, there would be few other effective drugs against such infections. According to the APA, this also applies to Salmonella and E. coli bacteria, which no longer respond to third-generation cephalosporins and the formerly particularly effective carbapenems. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: What does antibiotic resistance look like? Watch this experiment.


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