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National disparities in the relationship between antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption in Europe: An observational study in 29 Countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3199–3204
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number11
Early online date25 Jul 2017
Accepted/In press24 Apr 2017
E-pub ahead of print25 Jul 2017
Published1 Nov 2017


King's Authors


Background: Antimicrobial resistance in invasive infections is driven mainly by human antimicrobial consumption. Limited cross-national comparative evidence exists about variation in antimicrobial consumption and effect on resistance. Methods: We examined the relationship between national community antimicrobial consumption rates (2013) and national hospital antimicrobial resistance rates (2014) across 29 countries in the European Economic Area (EEA). Consumption rates were obtained from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network (ESAC-Net). Resistance data were obtained from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net), based on 196480 invasive isolates in 2014. Results: Data availability and consistency were good. Some countries did not report figures for each strain of resistant bacteria. National antimicrobial consumption rates (2013) varied from ≥13 DDD (Estonia, the Netherlands and Sweden) to ≥30 DDD (France, Greece and Romania) per 1000 inhabitants per day. National antimicrobial resistance rates (hospital isolates, 15 species) also varied from >6.1% (Finland, Iceland and Sweden) to >37.2% (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Slovakia). National antimicrobial consumption rates (2013)showed strong to moderate correlation with national hospital antimicrobial resistance rates (2014) in 19 strains of bacteria (r"0.84 to r"0.39). Some countries defied the trend with high consumption and low resistance (France, Belgium and Luxembourg) or low consumption and high resistance (Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia). Conclusions: We found associations between national community antimicrobial consumption and national hospital antimicrobial resistance across a wide range of bacteria. These associations were not uniform. Different mechanisms may drive resistance in hospital-based invasive infections. Future research on international variations in antimicrobial resistance should consider environmental factors, agricultural use, vaccination policies and prescribing quality.

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