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 that can be inspected online www.anresis.ch.
Compared with other countries, Switzerland has an intermediate position regarding antibiotic resistance. Relative to its population, the number of infections due to resistant bacteria here is lower than in France, Italy or Great Britain, but higher than in the Netherlands or the Scandinavian countries.
The data 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, but has been declining in the last 3 years. The reasons for this change in trend are not clear and are still under investigation.
The proportion of vancomycin-resistant enterococci has remained stable but has increased since early 2018. Unfortunately, its presence in a hospital can lead to the cancellation of some surgical operations.
Infections due to penicillin-resistant streptococci – which can cause pneumonia, for example – have probably declined thanks to 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.