Collecting laboratories across the UK and Ireland contribute isolates of defined bacterial groups from the current season. A central laboratory then confirms the identification of the isolates, measures MICs by the BSAC agar dilution method and undertakes further testing by standard methods. The samples are classified as susceptible, intermediate or resistant by using the BSAC and European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing breakpoints.
The primary journal article describing the methodology of both surveillance programmes is Reynolds, R., Hope, R., Williams, L., and on behalf of the BSAC Working Parties on Resistance Surveillance, Survey, laboratory, and statistical methods for the BSAC Resistance Surveillance Programmes. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2008. 62(Suppl 2): p. ii15 – ii28. You can obtain copies of this article, and all the other publications of the BSAC Resistance Surveillance Project through the Publications page.
The respiratory programme runs from 1st October each year to the 30th September in the following year. The bacteraemia programme follows the calendar year. The organism/antimicrobial combinations that are tested in each programme varies slightly from year to year. The protocols are updated annually and they contain information on the collection and supply of isolates, the testing methods and the antimicrobial agents currently in the study. The latest versions can be downloaded from the Protocols page.