Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
When micro-organisms become resistant to antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics, they develop antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR is a health concern for human and non-human antimicrobial usage. Its management and prevention have become more difficult over the past few decades because of excessive use of antimicrobial medicines and the slower marketing of new classes of antimicrobials.
To tackle antimicrobial resistance, a holistic, multi-sectorial approach, involving many different sectors (human medicine, veterinary medicine, research, animal husbandry, agriculture, environment, trade and communication) is needed.
Commission's 5-Year Action Plan on AMR – November 2011
The Commission's 2011 action plan against the rising threats from antimicrobial resistance contains 12 actions for implementation with EU member countries and identifies 7 areas where measures are most necessary:
- making sure antimicrobials are used appropriately in both humans and animals
- preventing microbial infections and their spread
- developing new effective antimicrobials or alternatives for treatment
- cooperating with international partners to contain the risks of AMR
- improving monitoring and surveillance in human and animal medicine
- promoting research and innovation
- improving communication, education and training.
- Press release
- Road map against antimicrobial resistance
- More information on AMR policy and related projects
The Commission has compiled a detailed overview of the 12 Actions covered by the Action plan in a roadmap, including the operational objectives, the concrete activities and the deadlines. A progress report on the AMR Action Plan published in February 2015, shows the state of play of steps taken to address AMR.
- Progress Report on the AMR Action Plan
- Press release
Commission activities on AMR in veterinary medicine
- Directive 2003/99/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents
- Commission Implementing Decision on the monitoring and reporting of antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and commensal bacteria (2013/652/EU)
- Commission Implementing Decision as regards a Union financial aid towards a coordinated control plan for antimicrobial resistance monitoring in 2014 (2013/653/EU)
- Technical specifications on randomised sampling for harmonised monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and commensal bacteria.
- EFSA/ECDC European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2013
- Survey on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in herds of breeding pigs: Decision 2008/55/EC
- Information of the Conference of December 2013
- Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014, WHO
- AMR in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from animals and food in the EU, 2009
- Joint opinion - AMR on zoonotic infections
- EFSA scientific opinion - Food-borne AMR as a biological hazard
- EFSA reports - Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in herds of breeding pigs (2008)
- European Medicines Agency - authorisation of antimicrobial medicines, European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC)
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - monitoring AMR in humans European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC)
- European Reference Laboratory for AMR - analytical methods
- Summary Report on AMR 2008
- Summary Report on AMR 2004-2007