Jang-Jih Lu, Shih-Yi Lee, Cherng-Lih Perng
Division of Clinical Pathology, Department of Pathology, Tri-Service General Hospital and National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, ROC
Received: September 1, 2003 Revised: October 2, 2003 Accepted: November 4, 2003
Jang-Jih Lu, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Clinical Pathology, Department of Pathology, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical College, No. 325, Section 2, Cheng-kung Road, Taipei, Taiwan 114, ROC. E-mail:
Eighty clinical microbiology laboratories in Taiwan were evaluated for proficiency in the determination of vancomycin susceptibility of enterococci. Each laboratory was given 1 vancomycin-sensitive isolate and 3 vancomycinresistant enterococci (VRE) isolates to determine the levels of vancomycin resistance. Among a total of 240 tests performed, 153 (63.8%) correctly determined the levels of vancomycin resistance of the survey isolates. Seventy eight (98%) of the 80 laboratories accurately identified the high level of vancomycin resistant isolates [Enterococcus faecalis; minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) >256 µg/mL]. Seventy two laboratories (90%) correctly determined the level of vancomycin resistance of another VRE with a vancomycin MIC of 64 µg/mL. Only 3 of the 80 laboratories correctly determined the intermediate-level vancomycin resistant isolates (Enterococcuscasseliflavus; MIC = 8 µg/mL). Eight laboratories reported the vancomycin-susceptible isolate as being vancomycinresistant or of intermediate susceptibility. This survey demonstrated that clinical microbiology laboratories in Taiwan are proficient in detecting high-level but not low-level VRE, suggesting a need to improve their proficiency in VRE detection.
Enterococcus, laboratories, vancomycin resistance
J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2004;37:242-245.