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Environment

EU Finds Regional Drug Resistance Patterns

by Britt E. Erickson
February 22, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 8

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in humans, food, and animals vary by region in the European Union, concludes a report by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control. The highest levels of drug-resistant bacteria were observed in Eastern and Southern Europe, it says. Lower resistance in bacteria found in poultry was observed in countries with low use of antibiotics in animals, it adds. The report warns that strains of Campylobacter are growing resistant to ciprofloxacin, an important antibiotic for treating human infections, and multidrug-resistant Salmonella are spreading throughout the EU. There is also growing evidence in EU poultry of Salmonella and Escherichia coli that are resistant to the antibiotic colistin. “Every year in the EU, infections caused by antimicrobial resistance lead to about 25,000 deaths—but the threat is not confined to Europe,” says Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU commissioner for health and food safety. “This is a global problem that requires a global solution.”

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