Control of Antibiotic-Sensitivity Testing in Britain
More than ten years ago the Bacteriology Committee of the Association of Clinical Pathologists saw the need for a survey of antibiotic-sensitivity testing in Britain. The committee therefore organised a trial that was reported in 1965 by the convenor of this symposium, Dr Joan Stokes. One hundred and fifty four laboratories performed 3386 tests on four organisms; 46% of the laboratories returned results including at least one error, and 3.4% of all results were wrong. This early trial also provided indications of the methods that were more likely to yield correct results, and clearly showed the need for nationwide and continuous control of sensitivity testing. This has not yet been fully achieved but is being steadily approached by the National Quality-control Service for Microbiology. The service was formed by the amalgamation of two pilot schemes — one run by Dr Stokes and Dr James Whitby with support from the Department of Health and the other by the Public Health Laboratory Service. It is concerned with all aspects of diagnostic microbiology but an important part of its work is to encourage accuracy and consistency of sensitivity testing and the sensible reporting of results, and to relate the accuracy of results to the methods that are used.
KeywordsTest Error Clinical Pathologist Incorrect Result Public Health Laboratory External Quality Control
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- AB Biodisk. The Paper Disc Method. 1971, Stockholm.Google Scholar
- Association of Clinical Pathologists (1965). Report on antibiotic-sensitivity test trial organized by the Bacteriology Committee of the Association of Clinical Pathologists. J.clin.Path. 18 1.Google Scholar
- Bauer, A.W., Kirby, W.M.M., Sherris, J.C., and Turck, M. (1966). Antibiotic susceptibility testing by a standardized single disc method. Amer.J.clin.Path. 45, 493.Google Scholar
- Stokes, E.J. and Waterworth, P.M. (1972). Antibiotic sensitivity tests by diffusion methods. Assn.Clin.Path. Broadsheet no. 55.Google Scholar