Europe working on antimicrobial resistance surveillance network

Source:, 1 March 2021, photo credit: Zoë van Dijk, Quanta Magazine

Antimicrobial resistance in animal bacterial pathogens represents a gap in the European One Health strategy on AMR surveillance. EARS-Vet could complement the existing European monitoring systems.

In order to support prudent veterinary use of antimicrobial therapy, and to implement a strong One Health strategy for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance and antimicrobial consumption (AMC) control in Europe, the European Union Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections (EU-JAMRAI) says that building a European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance network in Veterinary medicine (EARS-Vet) should be considered. Such a network could be integrated with existing monitoring systems.

Surveillance objectives

EARS-Vet would aim to describe the AMR situation, follow AMR trends, and detect emerging AMR in bacterial pathogens of animals in Europe. The data generated could be used for advising policy, monitoring interventions, evaluating marketing authorisations of antimicrobials, supporting antimicrobial stewardship initiatives, generating epidemiological cut-off values, supporting risk assessment, and estimating antimicrobial resistance burden.

In the coming years, more and more countries are expected to build national surveillance systems for AMR in diseased animals. In the absence of a European-level framework, this could lead to a further lack of harmonisation.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.