Surveillance report Open Access
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We introduce Bulgarian Surveillance Tracking Antimicrobial Resistance (BulSTAR) and make the first report on surveillance data for 2003. This longitudinal surveillance programme monitors the isolation and antimicrobial susceptibility of all clinically significant microorganisms isolated from blood cultures, cerebrospinal fluid, upper and lower respiratory tract, urine and wound samples in the participating microbiology laboratories. Twenty eight public, 45 hospital and 6 private laboratories from all 28 counties of the Republic of Bulgaria participated in BulSTAR 2003. The total number of isolates from monitored sources during the surveillance period was 98 929. Seven microorganisms represented 72% of all isolated bacteria in BulSTAR 2003: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus-Providencia-Morganella group, Klebsiella spp., Pseudomonas spp, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes. Generally the resistance of clinically significant Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria in Bulgaria was estimated to be at a medium level when compared with many other surveillance sources worldwide. A unique 32-year experiment on the population by treating all severe infections with an ampicillin/gentamicin combination resulted in twofold higher levels of resistance to amynoglycosides compared with other countries worldwide. This is due to the extremely conservative treatment schemes used in the former socialist countries, based on national directives and cheap domestic production of gentamicin and ampicillin. The forthcoming introduction of a computer network and improvements in detecting mistakes are expected to increase the sensitivity and the significance of BulSTAR surveillance system - an indispensable tool in the combat against increasing worldwide antibiotic resistance.


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