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Antimicrobial Resistance: From Monitoring to Preventive Measures

08 November 2013

GERMANY - Experts have agreed that the use of antibiotics must be reduced to an absolute minimum as resistance of pathogens to antimicrobials rises.

On 11 and 12 November 2013, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) invites representatives from the worlds of science, politics and business from different countries to discuss in detail the state of affairs as well as necessary strategies to control antimicrobial resistance in the food chain. 

"Where antibiotics are used, resistance is on the increase as well. This applies both to animal husbandry as much as to hospitals," said Professor Dr Andreas Hensel. "For the first time ever we now have representative data on the use of antibiotics and the resistance situation in animal production in the whole of Germany. On this basis, risks can be objectified before being assessed. Measures for improving the situation can then be suggested."

On the first day of the symposium, scientists specialising in the fields of veterinary and human medicine will be presenting the results from monitoring antimicrobial resistance in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This will be followed by reports on research projects on the subject of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamases).

MRSA are bacteria which in humans can, among other things, cause wound infections and inflammation of the respiratory tract and which are resistant to certain antimicrobials. ESBL denote enzymes produced by intestinal bacteria which modify a broad spectrum of beta-lactam antibiotics, thereby rendering them ineffective.

The second day will focus on antimicrobial sales data and the consumption of antibiotics in Germany and selected neighbouring countries. The topics covered include recording of prescription and consumption of antibiotics and the experience with active reduction strategies in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. Other aspects of the event include antimicrobial residues in food and molecular aspects of resistance build-up.

The programme and other information (in german) can be found under “Veranstaltungen” on the homepage of the BfR.

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