Education And Debate

Surveillance of antimicrobial resistancean international perspective

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 05 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:651
  1. R J Williams, technical officer, bacterial diseases,
  2. M J Ryan, medical officer, epidemiological surveillance/epidemic response
  1. Division of Emerging and other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control, World Health Organisation, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Williams

    Surveillance is essential for containing antimicrobial resistance.1 Information on resistance is needed at local, national, and international levels to guide decision making and responses. Local information should be used in clinical management and to update treatment guidelines, educate prescribers, and guide infection control policies. At national level, information is required to guide policy, update lists of essential drugs and national guidelines for treatment, and evaluate the effect of intervention strategies. There is an added value to gathering surveillance data internationally for sharing of information on the emergence of resistance in key pathogens, analysis of the impact of resistance and of policies for control, stimulating dialogue and engaging policy makers, developing advocacy and educational programmes, and stimulating research.

    Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance requires laboratory facilities organised in a network within which data on patterns of resistance can be shared for analysis and …

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