​One of the tasks as the EU Reference Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance is to organise and conduct an External Quality Assurance System (EQAS) on susceptibility testing of Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, enterococci and staphylococci. Also, an EQAS is conducted to compare the proficiency related to the selective isolation and AST of E. coli isolates from samples of either meat or caecal content.

The main objective of this EQAS is to support laboratories to assess and if necessary improve the quality of susceptibility testing of pathogens originating from food and animal sources. Furthermore, to assess and improve the comparability of surveillance and antimicrobial susceptibility data reported by different laboratories to EFSA.

Various aspects of the proficiency test scheme may from time to time be subcontracted. When subcontracting occurs it is placed with a competent subcontractor and the National Food Institute is responsible to the scheme participants for the subcontractor's work.

Reports on already conducted EURL-AR EQAS's are available for download elsewhere on this website:
EQAS Reports »

Protocols and test forms for the EURL-AR EQAS on AST on E. coli, enterococci and staphylococci for the 2019 EQAS are available below. 

The EURL-AR EQAS on Salmonella,​Campylobacter and the optional EQAS on genotypic characterization​are described in the protocol and other relevant material available below for the 2018 EQAS. The upcoming bacterial test strains for this EQAS will be shipped to the participants in October 2019.

Protocols and test forms related to the EURL-AR EQAS on selective isolation and AST of E. coli isolates from samples of meat and caecal content are available below for the 2019 EQAS. The next matrices containing bacterial test strains will be shipped to the participants in September 2020.


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