Surveillance for the emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1997 Dec;11(4):767-83. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5520(05)70389-5.


Effective surveillance of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is important for developing rational empiric therapy guidelines and for guiding public health efforts to control and prevent the spread of infective agents. Surveillance must include a timely and thorough review of the test results generated in clinical microbiology laboratories because this data serves as the core of surveillance activities. Besides ensuring data accuracy and optimizing detection of emerging resistance, the role of clinical microbiology also includes supporting the production of informative surveillance reports, providing laboratory resources for outbreak investigations, and monitoring the performance of commonly used susceptibility testing methods. Once the accuracy of susceptibility results has been validated, the data are used by public health agencies and professional societies to monitor resistance trends on a local, state, national, and international level. This information is also used to develop policies for prudent antimicrobial use locally and nationally.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Data Collection*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial*
  • Food Microbiology
  • Global Health
  • Government Agencies
  • Health Planning
  • Humans
  • Laboratories
  • Microbiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Public Health
  • Regional Health Planning
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents