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Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance in 2021

Published on 15 November 2022

From: Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection Scotland

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) remains a major public health issue.



"A 'One Health' approach to tackling AMR was adopted in Scotland in 2016 and acknowledges that the health of humans, animals and the environment are interconnected. Antimicrobial use and spread of infection in humans, animals and the environment contribute to the development of resistant infections. While some services resumed in 2021, patterns of service delivery and hospital activity levels have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels and make comparison of results for 2021 with previous years challenging.

AMR was an important issue before the emergence of the pandemic. It has remained as important in 2021, the second pandemic year. As society starts to recover and the NHS remobilises from the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat from AMR will once again become more prominent and concerted efforts across all sectors will be required to reduce resistant infections to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for prevention and treatment of bacterial infections and reduce resistant infections."

The Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance (SONAAR) Health Protection programme contributes to ARHAI Scotland’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of the population by reducing the burden of infection and AMR. This is delivered through development of epidemiological evidence on trends in antibiotic use and resistance to inform local and national interventions and initiatives in human and animal health. In line with the One Health approach, this report includes information from 2021 on antimicrobial use and resistance in humans, animals and the environment.