EU to Strengthen Action Against Antimicrobial Resistance

The Council of the European Union recently adopted recommendations to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a pressing global health issue. These recommendations, aimed at reducing the risk of microorganisms developing resistance to medical interventions, were part of a proposal submitted by the European Commission to the European Council. The proposal emphasizes the importance of a One Health approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment. 

The Importance of Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance 

Antimicrobial resistance refers to the ability of bacteria and other microbes to withstand the drugs designed to inhibit or kill them. In the EU/European Economic Area, over 35,000 people die each year due to infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This alarming statistic underscores the urgency of taking action. 

Proposed Actions to Combat AMR 

The recommendations put forth several crucial actions to tackle AMR comprehensively. These actions include strengthening national action plans, reinforcing surveillance and monitoring systems, promoting infection prevention and control, setting targets for antimicrobial consumption, enhancing awareness and education, fostering research and development, increasing cooperation, and enhancing global actions. 

Targets for EU Member States by 2030 

The proposal outlines specific targets for EU member states to achieve by 2030. These targets encompass closing surveillance and monitoring gaps, reducing total antibiotic consumption by 20% compared to 2019 levels, decreasing incidents of resistant infections, and reducing overall EU sales of antimicrobials used in farmed animals and aquaculture. 

The Farm-to-Fork Strategy 

The EU’s farm-to-fork strategy plays a significant role in combating AMR. It aims to transform food systems by reducing the environmental and climate impact of primary production while ensuring fair economic returns for farmers. By addressing antimicrobial use in animal farming and aquaculture, the strategy contributes to the reduction of AMR. 

Zero Pollution Vision for 2050 

The zero pollution vision for 2050 sets a goal to reduce air, water, and soil pollution to levels no longer harmful to health and the natural ecosystem. This vision aligns with efforts to combat AMR, as pollution can contribute to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their resistance genes. 

Recommendations for Infection Prevention and Control 

To prevent the further spread of AMR, the proposal emphasizes the importance of fully developing and implementing national immunization programs. Vaccination plays a crucial role in preventing vaccine-preventable diseases and reducing the need for antimicrobial interventions. 



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