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BSAC and EUCAST studies (2021)

SACU is the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) Susceptibility Testing Laboratory for the UK, providing advice on all aspects of EUCAST methods & guidelines. The unit also provides advice on anomalous quality testing issues and verification when implementing EUCAST disc diffusion methods.

SACU collaborates with the EUCAST Development Laboratory on a number of studies to develop disc diffusion guidelines for new agents and bacteria. Recent work has focussed on reading guidance on Nocardia reference testing plus Stenotrophomonas and Burkholderia susceptibility testing.

The unit is currently working with other reference laboratories on the development of disc diffusion methods for Neisseria species and anaerobic bacteria with a EUCAST subcommittee being formed for the latter. The unit has also recently provided data for extending the nitrofurantoin and mecillinam clinical breakpoints to supplemental Enterobacteriales other than those stated in the EUCAST breakpoint table. &

Other BSAC collaborations

SACU recently worked alongside the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) to review the Specialist portfolio in medical microbiology. The antimicrobial susceptibility testing section (7.9) has been updated to reflect current practices and methods. The standardised EUCAST disc test features highly with updated sections on currently relevant resistance mechanisms.

SACU also works with the UK Standards in Microbiology Investigation (SMI) group to discuss the antimicrobial agents for testing within diagnostic laboratories.

Training and Courses

As part of the BSAC Susceptibility testing laboratory for the UK, SACU runs two 3-day Residential Courses and two 1-day Userday conferences per year.

BSAC Susceptibility testing Residential workshops (3 days)

The BSAC workshop is a 3 day intensive course (including laboratory training) which aims to provide:

  • Knowledge of EUCAST disc diffusion susceptibility testing methods
  • An overview of other susceptibility testing methods
  • An understanding of how to test difficult organisms
  • An overview of relevant resistance mechanisms
  • Knowledge of how to solve susceptibility testing problems
  • Knowledge to improve local susceptibility reporting
  • Information on how to detect common antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and an overview of new technology in microbiology

 Place: The workshops are held at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

 Time: They take place every March/April (the week before Easter) and August (the week before August bank holiday).

Refer to the BSAC website for further details and registration:

BSAC User day 1-day conferences

SACU runs two 1-day conferences each year at different locations throughout the UK. The conference aims to update delegates on new resistances, problematic susceptibility testing issues, updates in testing methods and infections difficult to treat. 

It is also an opportunity to discuss susceptibility testing issues affecting laboratories around the UK.

Place: The User day conferences are held at various locations around the UK

Time:  User days are usually held in June and October of every year.

Refer to the BSAC website for further details and registration:

Useful Links

British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC)
BSAC Standing Committee on Susceptibility Testing

BSAC Resistance Surveillance Project

European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST)

EUCAST MIC / Zone diameter distributions & ECOFFs

The Antibiotic Resistance & Health Care Associated Infection Reference Laboratory (AMRHAI)
Health protection: Infectious diseases - GOV.UK

European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC)

European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS)

Massive Online Open Source Course of Antimicrobial Stewardship (BSAC)
MOOC Course

Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy

WHO Collaborating Centre for Drugs Statistics Methodology