RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment keeps track of the current state of affairs with regard to antimicrobial resistance in the Netherlands, and advises the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of its findings. In this regard, it is important for the parties tackling antibiotic resistance to keep each other informed.

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment has a particularly important role in finding out how often people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In the Netherlands, the following campaigns are currently focusing on this area.

  • Surveillance of resistance and use
    RIVM is carrying out a number of activities to gather details of antibiotic use and of the number of infections involving resistant bacteria.
  • Responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in the health service
    The Dutch Working Party on Antibiotic Policy (Dutch acronym: SWAB) sets the quality standard (guidelines) for the use of antibiotics. Doctors are required to follow the national guidelines for antibiotic use.
  • Responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in the veterinary sector and in the environment

Measures to prevent the spread of resistant micro-organisms

  • The Working Party on Infection Prevention (WIP) has drawn up guidelines for this purpose. Some of these have been compiled and included in hospital Safety Management systems.
  • The national registration of data on resistance and infection enables local data to be compared with national data. This provides targets for local improvement projects in the areas of infection prevention and correct antibiotic use.

Research (creation, transmission, development of new resources)

  • It is difficult to measure the effect that reduced antibiotic use in the veterinary sector has had on human health.
  • The infections caused by resistant micro-organisms can have various causes. RIVM is exploring a number of ways in which resistant bacteria can spread. The range of sources being investigated includes the environment, food or livestock.

International level

In addition to its work in the Netherlands, RIVM is also involved in various international networks. The most important of these are:

  • EARS-Net (European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network)
  • CAESAR (Central Asian and eastern European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance)

The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has Memorandums of Understanding with several countries in the area of reducing antimicrobial resistance.