For a long time, Sweden has had a favourable situation compared to many other countries when it comes to antibiotic resistance in bacteria from humans, which remains true. One contributing factor is that we have effective strategies to promote the responsible use of antibiotics and limit the spread of antibiotic resistance. Despite the favourable situation, there are problems with continuously increasing antibiotic resistance and the spread of infections in healthcare. Important examples are the recurrent outbreaks of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in hospitals and an increasing number of healthcare-associated clusters of ESBL CARBA. This emphasises the importance of continuous work within Strama, infection prevention and control as well as infection prevention in the community to prevent increasing antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic sales for humans increased in 2022 after a considerable reduction in 2020 and 2021 as an effect of the COVID- 19 pandemic. In past decades, consumption has shifted from broad-spectrum antibiotics towards narrow-spectrum antibiotics. However, this development seems to have been disrupted in the recent years.
In veterinary medicine, sales of antibiotics have decreased markedly since the mid-1980s, and in recent years sales seem to have stabilised at a comparatively low level. The occurrence of resistance among bacteria from animals has generally been stable at low or moderate levels. For some substances and in some bacteria the occurrence of resistance is even declining. One example of this is a significant decline of the occurrence of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli among broilers. There are however exceptions, and for example resistance to ampicillin, sulphonamides and trimethoprim has increased in indicator E. coli from both broilers and pigs.
Previous reports in pdf format
*One figure (3.31) in the printed report Swedres-Svarm 2018 is incorrect. The figure has been corrected in the PDF file that is accessible online.