Highlighting the amount of progress still to be made, the report notes that prescriptions of antibiotics continue to increase, with total consumption going up by by 2.4% between 2013 and 2014. England had the lowest use of antibiotic drugs, while Northern Ireland had the highest. As for rates of drug resistance, isolates of Neisseria gonorrhea
, Escherichia coli
, Klebsiella pneumoniae
, Streptococcus pneumoniae
, and Pseudomonas
from human samples collected in the UK still show mostly stable levels of antimicrobial resistance, rather than a desired drop. In the Pseudomonas
isolates collected, researchers found a statistically significant increase in resistance. The news on isolates collected from animal samples showed much more promising results. A comparison of pig, turkey, and chicken isolates tested proved more susceptible to the antibiotic drugs ciprofloxacin, cefotaxime, and erythromycin. In a comparison with a number of European countries, the UK isolates showed the lowest levels of resistance in six of the 16 drug-bug combinations, with the UK coming in second in five combinations and in third in two combinations.
From 2010 to 2014, the UK showed an increase in the occurrence of bacteremia, a rise not linked to population growth but which could be at least partially attributed to better reporting. However, infection prevention control measures in hospitals has shown more favorable results, with
the proportion of bloodstream infections from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA) in England falling from 15% in 2010 to 8% in 2014. In those same years, rates of Streptococcus pneumoniae
bacteremia dropped some 23%.
With tighter regulations and a revised health care code of practice adopted in 2015, along with a new range of guidance and tool kits produced to support healthcare staff in hospitals and doctors’ offices, health officials in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland hope to show some improvements in time for their next report on AMR. “We have begun to empower and support local leaders to drive change and hold them to account for delivery,” states the report. “To support local action, we will continue to work to change behaviours around the demand for, and prescribing of, antibiotics by increasing the understanding of AMR among the public, and by supporting professionals to reduce prescribing for both humans and animals.”
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