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Table 1 Details of antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods used in the European gonococcal External Quality Assessments (EQAs)

From: Ten years of external quality assessment (EQA) of Neisseria gonorrhoeae antimicrobial susceptibility testing in Europe elucidate high reliability of data

  2007–2011 (n=131a) 2012–2016 (n=95a; no EQA in 2013)
No. % No. %
Antimicrobial susceptibility test Etestb 72 55.0 73 76.8
Agar dilution 26 19.8 13 13.7
Disk diffusion 28 21.4 3 3.2
Disk diffusion and Etests 5 3.8 6 6.3
Culture media/base GC agar base 83 63.4 51 53.7
Chocolatised blood agar 33 25.2 23 24.2
Diagnostic sensitivity (DST) agar 7 5.3 5 5.3
Thayer-Martin agar (non-selective) 5 3.8 10 10.5
Blood agar base 2 1.5 1 1.1
None specified 1 0.8 5 5.3
Guidelines/breakpoints c CLSI 97 69.8 23 24.2
None specified 17 12.2 1 1.1
GRASP – United Kingdom 7 5.0 4 4.2
CACFM – France 3 2.2 4 4.2
SRGA – Sweden 5 3.6 0 0.0
EUCAST 9 6.5 62d 65.3
WHO 1 0.7 1 1.1
  1. CLSI Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute [16], GRASP Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme [34], CA-SFM Committee of the French Society for Microbiology (http://www.sfm-microbiologie.org), SRGA Swedish Reference Group for Antibiotics (no longer operational), EUCAST European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing [17], WHO World Health Organization
  2. aSome methods and guidelines changed throughout the time periods for some laboratories. Thus, analysis of the comparison of methods was performed using each laboratory for each year to give a total of 131 comparisons for 2007–2012 and 95 for 2012–2016
  3. bDuring recent years, some countries have also used other MIC gradient strip tests
  4. cn = 139 for guidelines/breakpoints as some laboratories used more than one guidance on methodology/breakpoints over the time period
  5. dIncludes one laboratory that also used BSAC disk diffusion breakpoints for azithromycin