Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe - EU-wide data on antibiotic resistance
On the occasion of the 7th European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is releasing its latest EU-wide data on antibiotic resistance (EARS-Net annual report and interactive database). Carbapenems are a major last-line class of antibiotics used to treat healthcare-associated infections. Although carbapenem resistance remains at relatively low levels for most countries, ECDC data show an increase of carbapenem resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae from a population-weighted EU average percentage of 4.6% in 2010 to 8.3% in 2013. For the first time in 2013, ECDC monitored resistance to polymyxins (e.g. colistin) in Klebsiella pneumoniae across Europe. Colistin is a last-line antibiotic developed several decades ago that has side-effects and limitations to its use, but has become essential for the treatment of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infections. Increasing resistance against colistin is a cause for serious concern and a threat to patient safety.