During the year 2002, 19 Clinical Microbiology Laboratories including 3 private centres, distributed in Ligurian and 2 in South Piemonte area have studied 26 strains carrying well-characterized antibiotic-resistant traits. Only 7 laboratories analysed the complete collection of 26 isolates and 12 sites studied at least 20 strains. Overall 85.4% of the microrganism identifications and 82.8% of the antibiotic susceptibility tests were correct. Gramnegative bacteria were more easily identified than the Gram-positive counterpart being E. faecium the most difficult pathogen to identify. Discrepancies were also observed with the antibiotic susceptibility tests. A significant number of tests, 22.6% of the identifications and 29.9% of the antibiotic susceptibility determinations were not carried out due to local economic and structural problems. Many of the pathogens are rarely encountered by Clinical Microbiology laboratories and sometime are difficult to detect, however, a large number of the centres was able to identify correctly these particular pathogens and their antibiotypes.
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