Drop in antibiotic use in Belgium
On “European Antibiotic Awareness Day” at the end of 2013, issues like antibiotic resistance and prudent antibiotic use were the focus of attention throughout Europe.
The Belgian centre of expertise “Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance in Animals” (AMCRA) marked the occasion by presenting its activity report. In 2012 AMCRA was founded in Belgium in response to the spread of antibiotic resistance in human and veterinary medicine. The mission of the centre is to collect and analyse data related to the active substances used in veterinary medicine in order to ultimately contribute to a sustainable strategy for antibiotic use. According to the most recent report from BelVet-Sac (Belgian Veterinary Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption), there was a decrease of 7.1 percent in the consumption of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine in Belgium between 2011 and 2012. In the same period, the use of antimicrobial pharmaceuticals decreased by 7.9 percent, and the use of antimicrobial premixes decreased by 3.5 percent. Since 2007 the total consumption has decreased by 20.3 percent. The most used group of antimicrobials were the sulfonamides and trimethoprim, which accounted for 31.1 percent of the total consumption, followed by the penicillins and tetracyclines at 29.7 and 22.7 percent respectively.