Globally, antimicrobial resistance is one of the most important public health challenges in which the clinical microbiology laboratory plays a critical role by providing guidance for antimicrobial treatment. Despite the recognition of its importance, there is still a real need for the standardized training of clinical microbiologists and harmonization of diagnostic procedures. This is particularly true for veterinary clinical microbiology, where additional challenges exist when microbiologists are trying to fulfill a professional role very similar to that of their colleagues working in human microbiology laboratories. The specific points that need addressing to improve the outputs of veterinary microbiology laboratories discussed here include (i) harmonization of methodologies used by veterinary laboratories for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST); (ii) specific guidelines for interpretation and reporting of AST results for animal pathogens; (iii) guidelines for detection of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in animal isolates; (iv) standardization of diagnostic procedures for animal clinical specimens; and (v) the need to train more veterinary clinical microbiology specialists. However, there is now a plan to address these issues, led by the European Network for Optimization of Veterinary Antimicrobial Treatment (ENOVAT), which is bringing together experts in veterinary microbiology, pharmacology, epidemiology, and antimicrobial stewardship from Europe and wider afield. ENOVAT is aiming to work with project partners toward standardization and harmonization of laboratory methodologies and optimization of veterinary antimicrobial treatment. Ultimately, the project may provide a mechanism for standardization and harmonization of veterinary clinical microbiology methodologies that could then be used as a template for implementation at a wider international level.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02572-20
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number6
Early online date23 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Standardization
  • Veterinary microbiology


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