Antimicrobial resistance in Europe and its potential impact on empirical therapy

G. M. Rossolini, E. Mantengoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The problem of microbial drug resistance is a major public health concern, due to its global dimension and alarming magnitude, although the epidemiology of resistance can exhibit remarkable geographical variability and rapid temporal evolution. The major resistance issues overall are those related to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Enterobacteriaceae producing extended-spectrum β-lactamases, and multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii. Europe is not free from any of these issues, although their impact may be significantly different in different countries. MRSA rates are high in several European countries, but seem to have levelled off in some settings. Diffusion of VRE is still irregular. The most alarming resistance trends are those observed for Enterobacteriaceae and the Gram-negative non-fermenters, with a generalized increase in rates of resistance to the most important anti-Gram-negative agents (β-lactams and fluoroquinolones) and the circulation of strains showing multidrug resistance phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Europe
  • Nosocomial pathogens
  • Resistance epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)


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