Harmonization of antimicrobial susceptibility testing among veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the five Nordic countries

A. Petersen, Frank Møller Aarestrup, Merete Hofshagen, H. Sipila, A. Franklin, E. Gunnarsson

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A total of 100 bacterial strains (25 Escherichia coli, 25 Salmonella enterica, 25 Staphylococcus aureus, and 25 Enterococcus strains) and four reference strains were tested for susceptibility toward 8-12 antimicrobial agents in 12 veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the five Nordic countries using routine methodology. In addition, the 25 Enterococcus strains were identified to species level. A total of 22,598 (97.2%) out of 23,259 test results were in accordance when the data were categorized as susceptible or resistant. When the reported results were categorized according to the National Committee of Clinical Laboratory Standards breakpoints, the percentage of concordant results increased to 98.4% and the performance between laboratories varied between 94.2 and 99.4% concordant results. For E. coli, S., aureus, and Salmonella, all laboratories except one had more than 97% concordant results, whereas for Enterococcus spp., two laboratories had less than 90 % concordant results. Susceptibility testing of Salmonella to fluoroquinolones gave rise to almost 0.5% nonconcordant results and susceptibility testing of S. aureus to vancomycin resulted in that 1.8% of the strains were incorrectly reported as vancomycin resistant. Ten laboratories identified the Enterococcus spp. to species level. All five Enterococcus faecium and 10 Enterococcus faecalis selected from the strain collection at the Danish Veterinary Institute were correctly identified by all laboratories, whereas some problems were observed identifying other enterococcal species. This study showed a good performance and agreement in antimicrobial susceptibility testing at the 12 participating laboratories and that surveillance data covering susceptibility test results of E. coli, S. aureus, and Salmonella from animals in the Nordic countries are comparable. But it also showed that some aspects can be improved. In addition, the study showed that the different laboratories are capable of identifying E. faecalis and E. faecium.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)381-388
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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