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Keywords:

  • Antibiotic resistance;
  • ARPAC;
  • European hospitals;
  • infection control;
  • recommendations;
  • review

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance is a key public health concern in Europe. It is known that there are significant variations in the prevalence of resistance across Europe, and methods to reduce the problem are also assumed to vary significantly. The ‘Antibiotic Resistance; Prevention and Control (ARPAC)’ Concerted Action project was funded by the European Commission and conducted by four study groups of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID). The project established a network of European hospitals and collated data on antimicrobial resistance prevalence, antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods, typing methods employed, antimicrobial use, antibiotic policies and practices, and infection control policies and practices. The ARPAC Consensus Conference, entitled ‘Control of antibiotic resistance in European hospitals—informing future evidence-based practice’, was held in Amsterdam in November 2004. The conference was co-hosted by the European Commission, ESCMID and the Dutch Working Party on Antibiotic Policy (SWAB). Key ARPAC findings were presented and discussed in the context of the worldwide situation. The conference delivered a set of high-priority recommendations likely to have a significant impact on antimicrobial resistance. This report summarises these recommendations.