Nationwide proficiency assessment of bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing among 110 laboratories in Lebanon
Introduction: Proficiency testing (PT) is one of the most valuable and important activities for the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories (CML) to enroll in to ensure the accuracy and reliability of results. This first time conducted nationwide study was warranted to assess the PT performance activity among CML in Lebanon.
Methodology: Four training and PT activities were organized for 110 nationwide laboratories involved in providing clinical microbiology services. In each PT activity, five different bacterial species were distributed to each laboratory to provide identification (ID) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AMST) according to prior discussions and guidelines.
Results: The percentages of labs that correctly identified the bacterial species and performed the relevant AMST to it, respectively, were as follows: S. aureus, (100% and 67.8%); Enterococcus faecalis (71% and 82%); Listeria monocytogenes (75% and 61%); Streptococcus agalactiae (86% and 71%); Corynebacterium amycolatum (7% and 33 %); Pseudomonas aeruginosa, (93 % and 53.4%); Klebsiella pneumoniae, (97% and 67.7%); Salmonella typhi ESBL (87 % and 66%); Enterobacter aerogenes (89% and 59%) and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (84 % and 65%). The resistant types for the species were specified by labs as carbapenem resistant (CR) K. pneumoniae in 78 %, CR E. aerogenes in 34 %, MRSA in 83 %, and VRE in 80.5%.
Conclusions: The wide variation as well as the overall humble scoring of accurate results reflects the dire need for the MOPH to establish and maintain a PT activity program, and entrust the reference laboratory to provide continuing education and training sessions.
Copyright (c) 2021 Tarek Itani, George Araj, Dolla Karam-Sarkis, Atika Berry
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