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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2004 Apr;10(4):349-83.

European recommendations for antimicrobial resistance surveillance.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Clin Microbiol Infect. 2004 May;10(5):following 497.


The problem of antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe has been debated extensively in many excellent documents issued by national committees that often assume the value of national guidelines. However, a comprehensive document addressing the whole matter from a European perspective, as well as reviewing its present status and drafting future perspectives, has been lacking. The present recommendations have been produced by the ESCMID Study Group for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (ESGARS) through a consensus process involving all members of the Study Group. The recommendations focus on the detection of bacterial resistance and its reporting to clinicians, public health officers and a wider-and ever-increasing-audience. The leading concept is that the basis for resistance monitoring is microbiological diagnostics. The prerequisites for resistance monitoring are findings of adequate quality and quantity, which have been recorded properly and evaluated correctly. Different types of surveillance studies should fulfil different requirements with regard to data collection and reporting, the expected use of data, and the prerequisites for networking such activities. To generate relevant indicators, bacterial resistance data should be reported using adequate denominators and stratification. Reporting of antimicrobial resistance data is necessary for selection of empirical therapy at the local level, for assessing the scale of the resistance problem at the local, national or international levels, for monitoring changes in resistance rates, and for detecting the emergence and spread of new resistances types. Any type of surveillance study should conclude, where appropriate, with a proposal for intervention based on the data obtained.

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