The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 9 June 2020

BARN – an expert network operating in the Baltic Sea region

A collaboration to support prevention of antibiotic resistance and improving infection control.


Anette Hulth
Phone: +46 10 205 23 95

The Baltic Antibiotic Resistance collaborative Network (BARN) is a grass root network for action against antibiotic resistance, with a focus on raising awareness and exchanging knowledge and experience among practitioners on effective interventions in health care settings. The network is active within as well as between participating countries in the Baltic Sea region. The network stimulates projects in which evidence-based practices are adapted to specific needs in each setting, where they can be quickly implemented and improved.

The predecessor of BARN, BALTICCARE, was launched in 2004. Many of those involved at the time are still active within the network today, giving the network a strong coherence and a vast amount of experience.

Three focus areas are key for the containment of antibiotic resistance

The problem of antibiotic resistance cannot be tackled by a one sided approach. The BARN concept is based on models for evidence-based methods within three focus areas identified as key for the containment of antibiotic resistance:

  • Microbiological diagnosis and antibiotic resistance surveillance
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Rational use of antibiotics

Independent subprojects in the network

The network has resulted in six, separately funded, hands-on subprojects:

  • Collaboration in infection control to combat antimicrobial resistance and hospital infections
  • Expansion of network and improvement of lab capacity for better AMR surveillance (enilabAMR)
  • The Hand Hygiene Project (completed)
  • The Happy Audit Project (completed)
  • The Baltic ESBL Epidemiology Project (completed)
  • The Perioperative Antibiotic Prophylaxis Project (completed)

Quick facts on BARN

  • Country members of the network: Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine
  • Coordinated by the Public Health Agency of Sweden
  • Funded by the Swedish Institute
  • Currently 180 members