Since 2014, the Swiss Centre for Antibiotic Resistance (ANRESIS) has been monitoring the evolution of bacterial resistance in Switzerland, with special attention to those bacteria considered most dangerous for public health. Thanks to voluntary declarations by a network of laboratories, this center is able to maintain an interactive database.
Relative to its population, Switzerland is less affected by infections due to resistant bacteria than France or Italy, but more affected than the Scandinavian countries or the Netherlands.
Data on resistance in humans accumulated since 2004 show mixed results: antibiotic resistance has increased strongly in some species of bacteria and has decreased or remained stable in others. For Escherichia coli – frequently involved in lower tract urinary infections – resistance to fluoroquinolones (a commonly used class of antibiotics) has increased, as has resistance to another class of broad-spectrum antibiotics (3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins). For Klebsiella pneumoniae, potentially responsible for urinary tract and respiratory tract infections, resistance similarly increased until 2014. However, resistance rates in these pathogens have stabilised in recent years. The reasons for this stabilisation are still unclear, and are now being investigated in more detail.
The proportion of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) has increased slightly since early 2016. Unfortunately, its presence in a hospital can lead to the cancellation of some surgical operations. VREs were responsible for a larger regional outbreak in 2018-2019 and this situation is now being closely monitored as a result.
Infections due to penicillin-resistant streptococci – which can cause pneumonia, for example – have probably declined thanks to a newly available vaccination, since the vaccine also protects against antibiotic-resistance streptococci.
The proportion of invasive infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has also decreased, thanks to improved detection and rapid treatment of infected patients in hospitals.