Sixteen out of 19 European countries say resistance to ciprofloxacin, one of the world's most powerful antibiotics, is now high or very high.
Ciprofloxacin is the treatment of choice for food poisoning caused by infections such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, and Salmonella bacteria are now multi-drug resistant, which means that three or more antimicrobials are ineffective.
Salmonella and E coli bacteria from poultry are also becoming resistant to ciprofloxacin, a report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has revealed.
The overall resistance to high-dose ciprofloxacin has risen from 1.7 percent in 2016 to 4.6 percent in 2018.
It could be critical to human health if ciprofloxacin and the rest of the family of fluoroquinolone antibiotics lose their effectiveness, the report states, but the outlook could be even gloomier if combined resistance to two or more antibiotics increases.