EU Court of Auditors’ Superbug Preview Welcomed

Ferrara, Italy – “COPMA welcomes the European Court of Auditors decision to conduct an audit of EU action against superbugs” said Mario Pinca, CEO of Italian hospital sanitation services company, COPMA.

The auditors will examine how the European Commission and relevant agencies manage the key activities and resources in this domain. They will also assess the relevance and effectiveness of EU contributions and support.

Each year in the EU, infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria lead to the death of about 33,000 people and result in economic losses of around €1.5 billion. The World Bank has warned that, by 2050, such infections could cause as much global economic damage as the 2008 financial crisis.

This week, the auditors published an ‘Audit Preview on EU action to fight AMR’. Audit Previews are used to provide information on an ongoing audit task. They are designed as a source of information for those interested in the policy or programmes being audited.

Pinca said he agreed with Janusz Wojciechowski, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit who said that: “AMR is one of the most serious health threats we face”, remarking that he was encouraged by this intensified focus on the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis.

“We believe Europe needs to quickly and massively upscale its fight against superbugs,” said Mario Pinca, intensive research has proven that COPMA’s hygiene system ‘PCHS’ can lead to a significant decrease of Healthcare Associated Infections. Research by Professors Elisabetta Caselli et al. reports a 70 – 99.9% reduction of the main antibiotic resistance genes and a 76% reduction in the total antibiotic therapy cost.”

The audit will cover actions and programmes managed by relevant Commission Directorate Generals and EU agencies, such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the Joint Undertaking Innovative Medicines Initiative, or the Consumer, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency: including the One Health action plan, the EU framework for monitoring antimicrobial resistance in the veterinary sector, the Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and the New Drugs for Bad Bugs programme to support R&D.

Caselli’s team sampled 11,842 patients and tested 24,875 environmental samples to prove that an eco-sustainable probiotic detergent solutions-based cleaning system called ‘PCHS’ (Probiotic Cleaning Hygiene System) can stabilise surface pathogens, without selecting antibiotic-resistant species.

The aim of the study was to determine whether PCHS application could impact on Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) incidence. “The outstanding results could have a major life-saving impact, and a sustainable cost-saving for healthcare budgets,” said Pinca.