Mapping the coverage, availability and uptake of External Quality Assessment programmes across One Health sectors in Asia

Ondari D Mogeni*, Freshwork Ayalew Abegaz, Jong-Hoon Kim, Hea Sun Joh, Vicky Gaedt Kastbjerg, Susanne Karlsmose Pedersen, Rene S Hendriksen, Marianne Holm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Establishing effective external quality assessment (EQA) programmes is an important element in ensuring the quality of, and building capacity for, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) laboratory surveillance. To understand the current coverage of, and challenges to participation in, EQAs in National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) across One Health (OH) sectors in Asia. Current EQA coverage was evaluated through desktop review, online surveys and interviews of both EQA participants and providers. EQA coverage was mapped and summarized by laboratory type and 'readiness' level and identified challenges evaluated qualitatively. Of the 31 identified NRLs [16 Human Health (HH) and 15 Animal/Food Safety laboratories (A/FS)], 14 HH and 7 A/FS laboratories currently participated in international EQA schemes and several participated in two or more different schemes. Seven laboratories were currently not participating in any EQA scheme and two of these (one HH and one A/FS) do not currently perform microbiology; six HH NRLs provided national EQAs. Of the eight surveyed international EQA providers, three were based in Asia and all offered varying programmes in terms of pathogens, frequency and support mechanisms for reporting and follow-up. Only one provider currently served laboratories across all OH sectors. The current coverage of EQA programmes for AMR in Asia was heterogeneous across countries but especially across OH sectors. This updated overview of the coverage and challenges associated with participation in, and provision of, EQAs for AMR suggest the benefit and relevance of introducing one comprehensive and high-quality EQA programme across OH sectors in Asia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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