In a 2015 analysis, antibiotic resistance continued to increase for most bacteria and antibiotics under surveillance. It is worrying to see increased resistance to last-line antibiotics, but we still have time to turn the tide and ensure that antibiotics remain effective.

In particular, the EU average percentage of carbapenem resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae increased from 6.2% in 2012 to 8.1% in 2015, and combined resistance to carbapenems and polymyxins (e.g. colistin) was sometimes reported. These two groups of antibiotics are considered last-line antibiotics as they usually are the last treatment options for patients infected with bacteria resistant to other available antibiotics.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data also show that antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli, one of the most frequent causes of bloodstream infections and community- and healthcare-associated urinary tract infections, requires close attention as the percentages of isolates resistant to commonly used antibiotics continues to increase throughout Europe. In contrast, the percentage of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) showed a significantly decreasing trend at EU/EEA level between 2012 and 2015. Despite this positive development, MRSA remains a public health priority as eight out of thirty countries reported percentages above 25%.

ECDC Acting Director, Dr Andrea Ammon, said, "Antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae is of increasing concern in Europe. More than one third of the isolates reported to ECDC for 2015 were resistant to at least one of the antibiotic groups under surveillance, and combined resistance to multiple antibiotic groups was common. Moreover, the emergence of K. pneumoniae infections with combined resistance to carbapenems and colistin is worrisome and an important warning that options for treatment are now even more limited than in the past". Dr Ammon added: "However, the decrease of antibiotic consumption in the community in six countries is a positive sign and shows that we are starting to use antibiotics more prudently. Prudent use of antibiotics is pivotal, both in the community and in hospitals, to ensure that these drugs remain effective."