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Emergence and Spread of MDR Bacteria
in an Era of Globalization

June 3rd 2016 - Utrecht

This scientific symposium is organized to mark the completion and present the results of the multicenter COMBAT (Carriage Of Multiresistant Bacteria After Travel) study, the largest study globally on the acquisition and spread of multidrug resistant (MDR) Enterobacteriaceae by travellers.

You will be informed about the current epidemiology of MDR bacteria; on the role of international travel in the spread of these bacteria; on the current situation with respect to MDR bacteria in popular travel destinations in Asia; and on novel strategies for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance.  The symposium will end with an interactive panel discussion on the implications of the emergence and spread of MDR bacteria by travellers for infection prevention guidelines and antibiotic policy.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most serious threats to global public health in the 21st century, due to the rapid emergence and global spread of multidrug resistant Enterobacteriaceae. Also in the Netherlands, where restrictive antibiotic use- and infection control policies have contributed to relatively low AMR prevalence to date, AMR rates are on the rise since recent years.  A post-antibiotic era in which common infections become fatal is looming. Increasingly, governments around the world are beginning to pay attention to this problem that threatens modern medicine. This awareness has been catalyzed by the increasing worldwide incidence of infections caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae and the emergence and spread of plasmid-mediated resistance to carbapenem antibiotics. The  recent first description of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance highlights the daunting prospect that even last resort antibiotics may be lost.

The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is generally higher in low and middle income countries as a result of inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents, overcrowding and lack of hygiene and infection control measures. Especially in Asia, where the majority of antibiotics are being produced and consumed, the prevalence of AMR is high.

The exponential increase of international travel to such endemic areas substantially contributes to the emergence and spread of AMR since it allows resistant bacteria or bacterial elements to be rapidly transported between regions.

The symposium will be of special interest for reseachers, physicians, consultants and nurses in the field of medical microbiology, infectious diseases, infection control, travel medicine, as well as for policy makers and public health officials.


Accreditation will be requested from the Nederlandse Internisten Vereniging (NIV), the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Medische Microbiologie (NVMM), the Vereniging voor Hygiëne en Infectiepreventie in de Gezondheidszorg (VHIG) and Landelijk Coördinatiecentrum Reizigersadvisering (LCR). Participants will receive an electronic certificate at the end of the symposium.


Muntgebouw, Leidseweg 90, Utrecht (