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Canada launches antibiotic resistance surveillance

Health minister Rona Ambrose has launched a Canada-wide antimicrobial resistance surveillance system and released the first report on the status of resistance in the country.

The report, published at a roundtable discussion with human and animal health organizations on 31 March, says that since 2001, the use of antimicrobials in people has declined in Canada, while those sold for animal use has remained stable since 2006.

Rates of infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have decreased since 2009, and infection rates of Clostridium difficile have remained stable since 2007. In 2013, resistance to cephalosporins, used to treat gonorrhoea, was present in nearly 4 per cent of cases, raising concerns that treatment with these antimicrobials may not be effective.

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