Antibiotic resistance has become a major public health concern in communities and in hospitals across Canada and around the world. To help fight this problem, researchers with the Canadian Bacterial Surveillance Network (CBSN) are carefully monitoring bacterial resistance to existing antibiotics.
Dr. Donald Low is head of the department of microbiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Low says the CBSN is trying to determine which bacteria have grown resistant to antibiotics and how they have acquired that ability.
To monitor resistance rates, CBSN investigators ask technologists in, community and hospital labs to collect strains of bacteria when they are identified in patients. The labs then send the bacterial samples to the central CBSN lab, where researchers test them for antibiotic resistance.