IATE Term of the Week: antimicrobial resistance




What causes antimicrobial resistance (AMR)?

The most common causes of the occurrence and spread of AMR are the overuse and misuse of antibiotics and the transmission of resistant micro-organisms between humans; between animals; and between humans, animals and the environment.

On Thursday 25 October, MEPs adopted a new regulation on veterinary medicinal products to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance from animals to humans and to ensure that consumers are not exposed to antibiotic residues in food products and to make sure antibiotics remain effective against infection.


Under the new rules the preventative use of antimicrobials will be limited to individual animals and will be allowed only when it has been justified by a veterinarian and where there is a high infection risk. Collective treatments – treating a whole group of animals when only one is sick – will be permitted only where no suitable alternatives exist and after appropriate justification from a veterinarian.

As advocated by MEPs, the text, which is to be formally adopted by the Council before publication, also imposes that imported foodstuffs will have to meet EU standards and that antibiotics cannot be used to enhance the growth of animals.


To help tackle antimicrobial resistance, the law would empower the European Commission to have antimicrobials reserved for treating humans only.



European Parliament > News > Headlines > Society > ‘Veterinary medicines, another step in fighting antibiotics’, 22 October 2018, [online: here], retrieved on 05/11/2018

European Parliament > News > Press room > ‘MEPs back plans to halt spread of drug resistance from animals to humans’, 25 October 2018, [online: here], retrieved on 05/11/2018




Written by Djamila Klein – Terminology trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French and German Studies from the universities Clermont Auvergne and Regensburg, and a Master’s degree in Translation FR<>DE<EN from the University of Strasbourg.