London--Superbug bacteria found in people, animals and food across the European Union pose an “alarming” threat to public and animal health having evolved to resist widely used antibiotics, disease and safety experts warned on Wednesday.
A report on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said some 25,000 people die from such superbugs in the European Union every year.
“Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger,” said Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU’s health and food safety commissioner.
Drug resistance is driven by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, which encourages bacteria to evolve to survive and develop new ways of beating the medicines.
Wednesday’s report highlighted that in Salmonella bacteria--which can cause the common and serious food-borne infection Salmonellosis--multi-drug resistance is high across the EU.
Resistance to carbapenem antibiotics--usually the last remaining treatment option for patients infected with multi-drug resistant superbugs--was detected for the first time in animals and food, albeit at low levels, as part of EU-wide annual monitoring for the report.