European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: Resistance to last-line antibiotics continues to rise

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control data found last-line antibiotics may be losing their efficacy. Such antibiotics are often the last options for patients infected with bacteria resistant to other antibiotics.

The European Union-wide data shows that in 2015, antibiotic resistance continued to increase for most bacteria and antibiotics under surveillance. The average percentage of carbapenem resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae increased from 6.2 percent in 2012 to 8.1 percent in 2015, and healthcare organizations reported a combined resistance to carbapenems and polymyxins as well.

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Additionally, resistance to common antibiotics among patients infected with Escherichia coli, a frequent cause of bloodstream infections and community-and healthcare-associated urinary tract infections, is increasing.

"Antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing public health issues of our time. If we don't tackle it, we can go back to a time when even the simplest medical operations were not possible, and organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy or intensive care even less so," said Vytenis Andriukaitis, European commissioner for health and food safety, in a statement. "The European Commission will launch a new action plan next year so that we can, together with our partners in the EU Member States and internationally, continue to ensure that the prevention and control of antibiotic resistance is strengthened within a one-health approach."

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