The Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance in Scotland (SARIS) programme began in October 1998. This programme collects antimicrobial resistance data from Scottish Microbiology Laboratories. Each week, laboratories report to HPS a selection of resistances detected as a result of susceptibility testing using existing methodology.
Reports are published quarterly in the HPS Weekly Report.
This system is voluntary and all clinical microbiology laboratories in Scotland are invited to participate. Since its inception, 14 laboratories have consistently reported data on key alert organisms. Furthermore, since 2000, five labs have consistently reported on target bacteraemia surveillance of Gram-negative organisms. Any laboratory wishing to initiate reporting is very welcome to do so and should contact the AMR team for further information.
The aims of antimicrobial resistance surveillance are:
- To highlight the extent and nature of antimicrobial resistance
- To provide an early warning system for emerging resistance
- To enable the measurement of the effects of intervention strategies on the rates of resistance.
Interpretation of SARIS data can be difficult, and it may not be appropriate to conclude that an increase in numbers reported represents a true increase in the number of cases of infection. At present, the programme yields only prevalence of the alert organisms, with no denominator data being collated. It is hoped that ECOSS will enable improved quality of data to be collected, allowing calculation of denominators and resistance rates. Standardized Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST) methods, driven by the Scottish Microbiology Forum should bring further consistency, insight and relevance to the data collected.