Decrease in community antibiotic consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, EU/EEA, 2020

Euro Surveill. 2021 Nov;26(46):2101020. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.46.2101020.


We present a European Union/European Economic Area-wide overview of the changes in consumption of antibacterials for systemic use (ATC J01) in the community between 2019 and 2020 as reported to the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network. Overall antibiotic consumption decreased by 18.3% between 2019 and 2020, the largest annual decrease in the network's two-decade history. We observed a strong association between the level of community antibiotic consumption in 2019 and the size of the decrease between 2019 and 2020.

Keywords: COVID-19; antibiotic consumption; surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents