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ESCMID calls for national infection control committees

Friday, November 13, 2015

The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID), a nonprofit organization that explores the risks and best practices in infectious disease, has in recent years been very active in the area of antimicrobial resistance. It is now calling on individual European nations to join its battle.

Several of the society’s study groups focus on developing strategies and policies to tackle the problem and the society supports many European and international initiatives. Most noteworthy is its role in setting up the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), which determines breakpoints for bacteria and fungi for existing and new antimicrobial agents.

Earlier this year, ESCMID introduced the European Committee on Infection Control (EUCIC), which aims to increase harmonization of infection control and prevention measures across Europe using education, training goals, guidelines and political awareness. Already, it has accounted for more than 50% of European countries (including Sweden, Spain, Germany, Italy and the U.K.), and it is now asking for national representation to come forward from each of the remaining countries.

EUCIC is further calling on professionals from European countries to help create national committees, the major goal of which is to provide its advisory board with relevant networks within each country. EUCIC’s objective is to create a new infection, control and prevention (IPC) network based on extensive partnerships among European national representatives and the most relevant societies in the field of infection control, infectious diseases and clinical microbiology.

Professor Evelina Tacconelli of Universitätsklinikum Tübingen in Germany, who is chair of EUCIC, said, “It’s a really exciting time with the new group having formed, and we are now actively seeking out representatives from the remaining European nations to start projects in collaboration with international stakeholders, as well as other ESCMID groups working on infection control and preventive measures. Ultimately, the group and collaborations will contribute to harmonize infection control across Europe through increased educational and training tools and new guidance documents.”

The ESCMID Study Group for Antibiotic Policies (ESGAP) currently is finishing a European-wide survey on the “teaching on prudent antibiotic prescribing” among final-year medical students. More than 10,000 have participated, and the results will be announced at ECCMID 2016. The study group is now calling on junior doctors throughout Europe to take part in a study on antibiotic prescribing and resistance. Evaluating cross-country trends will provide the information necessary to improve clinical practice and help mitigate the growth of antimicrobial resistance.

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