Australian passive AMR surveillance (APAS)

APAS collects, analyses and reports on de-identified patient level AMR data contributed by 10 public and private pathology services across Australia. These laboratories detect AMR in isolates referred from public and private hospitals, aged care homes and community settings

APAS background

APAS was established by the Commission in 2015 with the support of Queensland Health, which enabled access to the OrgTRx system as the information technology infrastructure. Initially, data were captured from January 2015 from all contributing laboratories; historical data have now been incorporated from four of those laboratories. The APAS system includes over 50 million AMR records from 2006 to 2018.

Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology has been an important early contributor to national passive surveillance through the provision of reports on resistance in isolates referred by hospitals, aged care homes, community and general practices in Queensland and Northern NSW specifically for AURA 2016 and AURA 2017.

  • Longitudinal datasets for specified organism-antimicrobial combinations
  • Cumulative antibiograms showing rates of resistance for a range of organisms from a specified specimen type within a time period
  • Tabulations showing the resistance profiles of organism strains isolated during a time period
  • Reporting for individual units within hospitals or health services, or at a statewide level.

The Commission is continuing to work with states and territories and the private sector to enhance data representativeness and analytical value.  

Participants in the APAS

Currently, APAS contributors include:

  • Pathology Queensland and the Queensland Health Communicable Diseases Branch (includes all public hospitals in Queensland)
  • The Canberra Hospital supported by ACT Pathology
  • Monash Health, Victoria
  • Royal Hobart Hospital
  • NSW Health Pathology laboratories that provide services to Hunter New England, Mid North Coast, Northern NSW, South Western Sydney, South Eastern Sydney, Illawarra Shoalhaven and Sydney Local Health Districts
  • Mater Misericordiae Health Services, Brisbane
  • SA Pathology, which provides services to all SA Health public hospitals
  • PathWest Laboratory Services, which provides services to all WA Health public hospitals.

APAS Reports

This report highlights concerning results for three types of significant resistances in Australia:

  • Methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Fluoroquinolone non-susceptibility in Escherichia coli
  • Vancomycin non-susceptibility in Enterococcus faecium

APAS – OrgTRX training and support resources

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The following resources have been developed to provide additional training and support to APAS participants:

Guide, user guide or guidelines

Guide, user guide or guidelines

Guide, user guide or guidelines

Template, survey or form

APAS Webinars


 Introduction to OrgTRx for new users

Advanced OrgTRx training