Antibiotic resistance surveillance systems: A review

Ousmane Oumou Diallo, Sophie Alexandra Baron, Cédric Abat, Philippe Colson, Hervé Chaudet, Jean Marc Rolain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Objectives: Epidemiological surveillance is one critical approach to estimate and fight the burden of antibiotic resistance (AR). Here we summarise the characteristics of surveillance systems devoted to the surveillance of AR worldwide and published in the literature. Methods: We performed a systematic review of the literature available on PubMed from January 2007 to July 2019 (12.5 years). The keywords (‘surveillance system’ OR ‘laboratory-based surveillance’ OR ‘syndromic surveillance’ OR ‘sentinel surveillance’ OR ‘integrated surveillance’ OR ‘population-based surveillance’) AND (‘antibiotic resistance’ OR ‘antimicrobial resistance’) were used. This research was completed with AR monitoring systems available on websites. Results: We identified 71 AR surveillance systems described by 90 publications from 35 countries, including 64 (90.1%) national and 7 (9.9%) multinational surveillance systems. Two regions accounted for ∼72% of systems: European region (37; 52.1%) and Region of the Americas (14; 19.7%). Fifty-three focused on AR surveillance in humans, 12 studied both humans and animals, and 6 focused only on animals. The two most common bacterial species reported were Staphylococcus aureus (42; 59.2%) and Escherichia coli (39; 54.9%). Of the 71 AR surveillance systems, 20 (28.2%) used prevalence as an indicator, 3 (4.2%) used incidence and 7 (9.9%) used both. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus spp., S. aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae, and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing and carbapenem-resistant E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were monitored. Conclusions: Our results showed heterogeneous surveillance systems. A ‘One Health’ approach is needed to monitor AR, with reference to the WHO Global Action Plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-438
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Clinical microbiology laboratories
  • Surveillance systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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