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National resistance monitoring

The battle against resistant germs

Resistant bacteria are a threat to the health of humans and animals, since they can limit the therapeutic options available in the treatment of infectious diseases. Bacteria which are not only resistant to one antibiotic, but no longer respond to several antibiotics, are a major problem. For this reason it is an important task of the BVL to monitor the development of resistances in micro-organisms as well as to counteract their spreading through effective management measures.

The BVL carries out monitoring studies on the resistance situation of bacteria in food-producing and domestic animals throughout Germany. The results of these studies are taken into account in the authorisation process of antibiotics for animals by limiting, when necessary, the use of certain substances. On the basis of the results from the BVL, practising veterinarians are able to shortlist antibiotics suitable for treatment.

To be able to make reliable statements on the resistance situation of pathogenic bacteria in animals, representative results on the sensitivity of these bacteria are constantly required. For this reason, the BVL has built up a network of 40 national laboratories since 2001, which collect bacteria for examination in accordance with a stipulated random sampling scheme, and send them to the BVL. At the BVL the bacteria are tested for their sensitivity to 24 authorised antibiotics according to an internationally recognised analytical procedure. Each year the BVL organises ring trials on a European scale to continuously check the high standards of these analyses.

The BVL supports the education and training of students and veterinarians on the subject of resistances, for example in the framework of university lectures.

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