MRSA surveillance programmes worldwide: moving towards a harmonised international approach

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2022 Mar;59(3):106538. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2022.106538. Epub 2022 Jan 26.


Multinational surveillance programmes for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are dependent on national structures for data collection. This study aimed to capture the diversity of national MRSA surveillance programmes and to propose a framework for harmonisation of MRSA surveillance. The International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC) MRSA Working Group conducted a structured survey on MRSA surveillance programmes and organised a webinar to discuss the programmes' strengths and challenges as well as guidelines for harmonisation. Completed surveys represented 24 MRSA surveillance programmes in 16 countries. Several countries reported separate epidemiological and microbiological surveillance. Informing clinicians and national policy-makers were the most common purposes of surveillance. Surveillance of bloodstream infections (BSIs) was present in all programmes. Other invasive infections were often included. Three countries reported active surveillance of MRSA carriage. Methodology and reporting of antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence factors, molecular genotyping and epidemiological metadata varied greatly. Current MRSA surveillance programmes rely upon heterogeneous data collection systems, which hampers international epidemiological monitoring and research. To harmonise MRSA surveillance, we suggest improving the integration of microbiological and epidemiological data, implementation of central biobanks for MRSA isolate collection, and inclusion of a representative sample of skin and soft-tissue infection cases in addition to all BSI cases.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Epidemiology; Monitoring; Staphylococcus aureus.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Soft Tissue Infections* / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / drug therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents