Data and statistics

Data on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can only be collected by microbiological laboratories with the capacity to test the sensitivity of microorganisms that cause infection to a range of antibiotics. Data on sensitivity are usually part of programmes to ensure that recommendations on antimicrobial use are still in line with accepted sensitivity and are usually integral to specific programmes for the control of, for example, malaria, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, foodborne infections and tuberculosis.

Important components of AMR prevention and control are: prudent use of antimicrobials, control of infection and the development of new antibiotics.

Antibiotic use in Europe, expressed in defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 inhabitants, ranges from 10.0 in the Russian Federation, 14.6 in Sweden to 45.2 in Greece, according to 2008 data from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) project. The statistics depend on the strength of monitoring systems.

In the European Union (EU), Norway and Iceland, 5–12% of hospital patients acquire an infection during their stay. Each year, an estimated 400 000 present with a resistant strain, of whom 25 000 die, on average.

In addition to causing deaths and increased suffering, AMR has huge economic implications. Multidrug-resistant bacteria in the EU are estimated to cause an economic loss of more than €1.5 billion each year.

Resistance is increasing in Europe for some bacteria, especially Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae, where new resistant mechanisms are emerging and new drugs are not in sight.

Surveillance in 27 EU countries, coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, collects annual data on infections with seven resistant bacteria:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Escherichia coli
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Pseudomonas auruginosa.