European Commission Proposes One Health Approach to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a global concern that requires urgent action. The European Commission recognises the need for a One Health approach to combat this issue, which involves cooperation between human, animal, and environmental health sectors. On 26 April 2023, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Recommendation on stepping up EU actions to combat AMR in a One Health approach.

This proposal is part of the pharmaceutical package, which includes a Commission Staff Working Document that outlines the Commission’s approach to AMR. The proposal aims to strengthen the EU’s actions in addressing AMR by improving prevention and control measures, promoting the responsible use of antimicrobials, and enhancing surveillance and research.

Prevention and control measures are crucial to reducing the spread of AMR. The proposal recommends improving hygiene standards, particularly in healthcare settings, and strengthening infection control measures to prevent the transmission of resistant infections. It also calls for the development of guidelines for the appropriate use of antimicrobials, particularly in livestock and aquaculture.

The responsible use of antimicrobials is essential to preserve their efficacy. The proposal recommends promoting the use of alternatives to antimicrobials, such as vaccines, and supporting the development of new antimicrobials through research and development. It also calls for the implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs in healthcare settings to ensure the appropriate use of these drugs.

Surveillance and research are critical to understanding the extent and evolution of AMR. The proposal recommends strengthening surveillance systems to monitor the occurrence of resistant infections in humans and animals. It also calls for increased research into the development of new antimicrobials, alternative therapies, and diagnostics.

The proposed Council Recommendation builds on previous EU initiatives to address AMR, such as the EU One Health Action Plan against AMR and the European One Health Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. It reflects the Commission’s commitment to addressing this global health challenge and underscores the importance of a One Health approach in tackling AMR.

The European Commission’s proposal for a Council Recommendation on stepping up EU actions to combat AMR in a One Health approach is a significant step in addressing this urgent global health challenge. The proposed measures to improve prevention and control measures, promote responsible use of antimicrobials, and enhance surveillance and research will strengthen the EU’s response to AMR. The proposal highlights the need for a coordinated, One Health approach to tackle this issue and underscores the EU’s commitment to addressing AMR.

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