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ESCMID has organized various activities to promote prudent use of antibiotics in Europe.
Experts at the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID) are promoting prudent use of antibiotics as they showed their support for the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on November 18, 2016, which was inaugurated in 2006 to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). EAAD forms part of World Antibiotic Awareness week from November 14–20, 2016.
ESCMID has organized various activities to promote prudent use of antibiotics in Europe, including events at healthcare institutions and public campaigns on AMR, surveillance, and antibiotic stewardship programs in Moldova, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus and the Netherlands. The society has also undertaken a number of initiatives to combat the growing problem. In September 2016, ESCMID together with the American Society for Microbiology organized an international conference on drug development to meet the AMR challenge (key presentations are available here). Drawing from the outcomes of the conference, ESCMID plans to publish a position paper on its strategy and role in the fight against AMR.
AMR will once again be one of the main topics at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) world congress (April 22–25, 2017 in Vienna). A book on antimicrobial stewardship produced by ESCMID and ESCMID Study Group for Antibiotic Policies (ESGAP) is due for publication in April 2017.
ESCMID has been supporting governments and international organizations to develop and implement policies on evidence-based prevention, infection control, surveillance of resistance, antimicrobial stewardship, and sanitation to ensure optimal use of antibiotics. The society welcomes the fact that AMR moved to the top of the global agenda in September 2016 when the United Nations General Assembly called a high-level meeting to address a problem that is projected to cause up to 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
Efforts of ESCMID over the past years include the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), jointly organized by ESCMID and the ECDC, which defines so-called breakpoints required to define optimal dosing of antibiotics and thus distinguish between therapeutic success and failure. Recently, EUCAST completed a review of breakpoints or fluoroquinolone and carbapenem, two of the most important groups of antibiotics, and defined breakpoints and susceptibility methods for new agents and additional bacterial species. Its experts also conducted a study that showed that phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing (PAST) is a better predictor of susceptibility, while whole genome sequencing (WGS) is more useful for characterizing resistance genes and mechanisms.
One of the more recent initiatives include European Committee on Infection Control (EUCIC), which was created in 2014 to support the implementation of infection control and preventive (ICPM) measures to reduce the burden of healthcare-associated infections. Among many ongoing projects, EUCIC is currently involved in the PERCEPT-R project, which aims to investigate the perceptions of infection control specialists regarding AMR and infection prevention and control in different countries, and the role played by the cultural, contextual and behavioral aspect on the prevention of AMR. To contribute to the harmonization of ICPM and standardization of procedures, EUCIC is working on developing new educational tools that could provide a new generation of infection control specialists with a global European perspective and competence. EUCIC together with major stakeholders and the national representatives in the EUCIC advisory board is currently developing a European training program for infection control in healthcare settings.