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Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobial use (AMU) in Europe is currently annual.


To study the feasibility and scalability of a quarterly AMR/AMU surveillance system in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA).


We conducted a longitudinal study within the scope of the EU-JAMRAI project. Seventeen partners from 11 EU/EEA countries prospectively collected 41 AMU and AMR indicators quarterly from September 2017 to May 2020 for the hospital sector (HS) and primary care (PC). Descriptive statistics and coefficients of variation (CV) analysis were performed.


Data from 8 million hospital stays and 45 million inhabitants per quarter were collected at national (n = 4), regional (n = 6) and local (n = 7) levels. Of all partners, five were able to provide data within 3 months after each preceding quarter, and eight within 3–6 months. A high variability in AMU was found between partners. Colistin was the antibiotic that showed the highest CV in HS (1.40; p < 0.0001). Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing presented the highest incidence in HS (0.568 ± 0.045 cases/1,000 bed-days per quarter), whereas ciprofloxacin-resistant showed the highest incidence in PC (0.448 ± 0.027 cases/1,000 inhabitants per quarter). Barriers and needs for implementation were identified.


This pilot study could be a first step towards the development of a quarterly surveillance system for AMU and AMR in both HS and PC in the EU/EEA. However, committed institutional support, dedicated human resources, coordination of data sources, homogeneous indicators and modern integrated IT systems are needed first to implement a sustainable quarterly surveillance system.


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