Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2010
Publication Date: 5/11/2010
Citation: Cray, P.J. 2010. The conundrum of harmonizing resistance surveillance systems on a global level. FIfth International Conference on Antimicrobial Agents in Veterinary Medicine. May 11-15, 2010. Tel Aviv, Israel.
Technical Abstract: Surveillance systems, particularly those involving complex data over time, provide unique challenges. They are as varied in design, intent, funding and function as the countries in which they exist. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define surveillance as ‘the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of these data to those who need to know (1). The prerequisite for any system requires that the data be of high quality and in sufficient quantity to allow for clear and appropriate interpretation. Surveillance systems that monitor for antimicrobial resistance are often quite valuable in and of themselves. However, difficulties often emerge when data from two or more disparate systems are compared. Inherent bias attributed to data collection is most often the source of these problems. The key lies in understanding the subtleties of each parameter within a system starting with sampling, laboratory practices and procedures, and provision of context regarding the data so as to adequately support the conclusions. Harmonization can only be achieved when all parties agree to elucidate the bias within their surveillance systems followed by modification (to the extent possible) to increase comparability. (1) Thacker, S. and R. Berkelman. 1988. Public health surveillance in the United States. Epidemiology Reviews 10:164-190.