Inter-agency report on antimicrobial consumption and resistance in bacteria from humans and animals

06 July 2021

Article: 55/2708

The third joint inter-agency report on integrated analysis of antimicrobial agent consumption and occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from humans and food-producing animals (JIACRA), has been published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The report states that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) constitutes a significant public health problem in Europe as well as in other parts of the world, representing a social and economic burden and a threat to animal health and production. The main driver behind AMR is antimicrobial consumption (AMC), in both humans and food-producing animals. Recognising that human and animal health are interconnected, this report is based on a ‘One-Health’ approach.

The report finds a significant fall in antibiotic use in food-producing animals, suggesting that the measures taken at country level to reduce use are proving effective. The use of the polymyxins class of antibiotics, which includes colistin, nearly halved between 2016 and 2018 in food-producing animals, a positive development as polymyxins are also used in hospitals to treat patients infected with multidrug-resistant bacteria.

The picture in the EU is diverse, with the situation varying significantly by country and by antibiotic class. For example, aminopenicillins, third and fourth generation cephalosporins and quinolones are used more in humans than in food-producing animals, while polymyxins such as colistin and tetracyclines are used more in food-producing animals than in humans.

Source: ECDC, 30 June 2021