BSAC Susceptibility Testing Method – History

Development of the national Susceptibility Testing Methodology began in 1999 and was underwritten through the provision of a BSAC major research fellowship.  Since 2001 BSAC has, through underwriting of a designated fund, supported the continued development of the methodology carried out at the Susceptibility Testing Method Centre based at NHS Wales, Cardiff.

Work in this area is overseen by a BSAC working party, the remit of which is to:

  • Establish MIC breakpoints for interpretation of susceptibility to new antimicrobial agents and to review existing breakpoints as required. This is undertaken in collaboration with other European groups through the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST).
  • Develop and maintain standardized in-vitro methods of antimicrobial susceptibility testing, with disc diffusion method breakpoints calibrated to MIC breakpoints. Practical support and management of method development is provided by the BSAC Standardized Method Development Centre, Birmingham (SMDC). Details of methods are maintained and updated on this website.
  • MIC breakpoints and standardized methods enable diagnostic laboratories to provide informed guidance on appropriate antimicrobial chemotherapy and are required for resistance surveillance purposes.
  • To provide educational support to current and potential users of BSAC methods through regular Practical Workshops and User Group Days. Support of users of BSAC methods is also provided by response to questions via email consultation of Working Party members.
  • To liaise with manufacturing industry regarding devices and products for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacteria.
  • To liaise with the pharmaceutical industry in the establishment of MIC breakpoints.
  • To promote and maintain links with similar organisations worldwide.
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