MEPs call for action on drug-resistant bacteria


Bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial drugs cause 25,000 deaths a year in the EU, Iceland and Norway, a European Parliament report published yesterday has found.

The report from the environment, public health and food safety committee prompted MEPs to call for urgent action to avoid a “return to the pre-antibiotic era”.

Actions proposed by the report included developing new, more powerful drugs, using existing ones more carefully, and improving human hygiene and animal husbandry.

According to the report, the first step is to ensure the use of antimicrobials for humans and animals is reduced. MEPs called for “prudent-use guidelines” to reduce exposure to drugs in human healthcare, veterinary medicine, agriculture and aquaculture.

But research was also needed to “catch up” on rising resistance. Presenting the report, MEP Anna Rosbach said if measures were not taken immediately, the growing resistance could “threaten our ability to treat patients”.