Determining the value of antimicrobial surveillance programs

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 Dec;41(4):171-5. doi: 10.1016/s0732-8893(01)00318-2.


Antimicrobial surveillance programs provide important information on the development of bacterial resistance mechanisms in different geographical regions. Data concerning these mechanisms and patterns of antimicrobial resistance allows the implementation of changes in antimicrobial prescribing practices and infection control interventions. The three most widely known global surveillance programs currently in active operation are: The Meropenem Yearly Susceptibility Test Information Collection (MYSTIC), The SENTRY Antimicrobial Surveillance Program, and The Alexander Project. This presentation reviews these surveillance programs, using a set of key criteria in order to assess the significance of each program in monitoring the spread of antimicrobial resistance. The content of the MYSTIC Program monitors the in vitro performance of meropenem in hospital units in which this drug is actively prescribed. This distinguishes the MYSTIC Program from the other two major surveillance programs as it seeks to correlate antimicrobial resistance data, collected from high carbapenem usage institutions, with antimicrobial prescribing patterns over time. The MYSTIC Program and other assessed networks appear to be both valuable and complementary in their design and function.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance