A Danish-Swedish public health consortium has been designated reference laboratory for antibiotic resistancein the EU

Denmark and Sweden will jointly establish an EU reference laboratory for antibiotic resistance, which will contribute with scientific and independent expert knowledge within diagnostics and infection preparedness.

Antibiotic resistance is a major health challenge that affects humans, animals and the environment. Resistance means that infections become more difficult to treat and lead to increased mortality, prolonged hospital stays and rising healthcare costs.

The EU has therefore designated a number of reference laboratories in the union (EURLs), which, will be led by the European Center for Disease, Prevention and Control (ECDC), and must, among other things, support and advise the member states and the EU Commission in diagnostics, monitoring and reporting of diseases and antibiotic resistance.

The new function as a reference laboratory has been appointed by the EU Commission to a consortium consisting of the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) and the DTU Food in Denamrk and the Clinical Microbiology Region Kronoberg / EUCAST Development Laboratory (EDL) in Sweden. The appointment runs over a seven-year period.

"It is a great honor that we have been appointed as the European reference laboratory for antibiotic resistance in human infections, which acknowledges the strength of our complementary competences in the consortium," says Anders Rhod Larsen (SSI), who heads the consortium.

The structure of reference laboratories is part of the EU alert systems for cross-border health threats. The reference laboratories are also part of the so-called One Health approach, which recognizes that human, animal and environmental health are inextricably linked. This applies not least in the area of antibiotic resistance, where resistance can be transferred between animals and humans via direct contact, food and the environment.

Strong collaboration

The tasks as the EU Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Antibiotic Resistance include, among other things, to advise the EU Commission in connection with the organisation, implementation and evaluation of surveillance systems for antibiotic resistance. The EURL also trains other national and European laboratories to ensure that e.g. sensitivity tests of different bacteria meet quality requirements and regulations, and to ensure that methods and data are comparable.
In this regard, the three partners have joined forces to complement each other.

EDL is an international leader in the development of standardized methods for the quantitative measurement of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. These methods are now implemented in almost all European laboratories, and in an increasing number of laboratories far outside Europe. The development of methods is coordinated by EUCAST.

DTU Food has extensive experience from international projects for capacity development with the implementation of antibiotic resistance monitoring, while SSI has extensive experience with epidemiology, monitoring and outbreak detection of human bacteria using whole genome sequencing.

Over the past four years, the collaboration between SSI and DTU Food has been expanded through the management of several EU projects, all of which aim to build infection preparedness against antibiotic-resistant bacteria across Europe within diagnostics and the use of whole-genome sequencing for monitoring and detecting outbreaks.

SSI and DTU Food have also since 1995 published the DANMAP report, which collects national monitoring data on human and veterinary antibiotic resistance, and was thus among the first in the world to recognize that antibiotic resistance must be understood in a broader context - now referred to as "One Health".

Press contacts
Contact Statens Serum Institut’s press department at telephone number +45 2260 1123 or e-mail presse@ssi.dk

Press contacts

Contact Statens Serum Institut’s press department at telephone number +45 2260 1123 or e-mail presse@ssi.dk