Evolution of the performance of Latin America Reference Laboratories in the detection of mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance

Gagetti et al.


The objective is to present the results of the Latin American Program for Quality Assurance in Bacteriology and Antimicrobial Resistance (LA-EQAS) between 2000 and 2018 and the evolution of the detection of resistance mechanisms with clinical impact.


The participating National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) received 25 surveys with 10 strains in each one, representing a total of 86 bacterial species and 40 resistance mechanisms. To evaluate the performance of the NRLs, five indicators were analyzed: bacterial identification, interpretation of susceptibility testing, acceptable ranges for zones of inhibition, inferred resistance mechanism, and delay time for the


The average concordance was 82.6% (range: 74-95%) for bacterial identification, 93.3% (85-98%) for the interpretation of susceptibility testing, 84.6% (70-94%) for the zones of inhibition, and 82.5% (73-96%) for the inferred resistance mechanisms. The average delay time for the response was 34 days. Improvements in the detection of mechanisms of clinical importance, such as resistance to methicillin, macrolides and glycopeptides in Gram-positive cocci, and extended-spectrum, AmpC plasmid and carbapenemase beta-lactamases in Gram-negative bacilli, were observed.


The LA-EQAS is an excellent tool for continuous quality improvement in the diagnosis of infections due to multiresistant microorganisms in NRLs in Latin America.

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