Antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use animal monitoring policies in Europe: Where are we ?
The World Health Organization has recognized antimicrobial resistance as one of the top three threats to human health. Any use of antibiotics in animals will ultimately affect humans and vice versa. Appropriate monitoring of antimicrobial use and resistance has been repeatedly emphasized along with the need for global policies. Under the auspices of the European Union research project, EFFORT, we mapped antimicrobial use and resistance monitoring programs in ten European countries. We then compared international and European guidelines and policies. In resistance monitoring, we did not find important differences between countries. Current resistance monitoring systems are focused on food animal species (using fecal samples). They ignore companion animals. The scenario is different for monitoring antibiotics use. Recently, countries have tried to harmonize methodologies, but reporting of antimicrobial use remains voluntary. We therefore identified a need for stronger policies.