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The European antimicrobial resistance surveillance system
EC contribution
: € 734.142
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/09/2003
Funding scheme
: N/A
: surveillance, antimicrobial resistance, monitor trends, invasive pathogens, public health action
Contract/Grant agreement number
: 2003212
Project web-site


The European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS), funded by DG SANCO of the European Commission and coordinated by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), is an international network of national surveillance systems, which collects comparable and validated antimicrobial susceptibility data for public health purposes. EARSS performs ongoing surveillance of antimicrobial susceptibility in Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecalis/faecium causing invasive infections, and monitors variations of antimicrobial resistance in time and from place to place. In December 2001, around 600 microbiological laboratories serving some 970 hospitals in 27 countries provided susceptibility data on around 65 000 invasive isolates.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an emerging public health problem with local, national, and international dimensions as described in 'the Copenhagen Recommendations'. Antimicrobial resistance is clearly an emerging problem. However, the precise impact of this problem is less clear to the European and scientific community. Before being able to quantify the impact on public health it is necessary to have more comparable surveillance data available. One of the recommendations made at the EU Conference 'The Microbial Threat' in 1998 was that a European surveillance system of antimicrobial resistance should be set up, therefore EARSS has been established.

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