Micronet: an Italian automatised laboratory based surveillance and early warning system for infectious diseases

Abstract number: 1733_1311

D'Ancona F., Rizzo C., Alfonsi V., Ciofi degli Atti on behalf of the Micronet Group M.L.

Objectives: In Italy several diseases specific surveillance systems have been in use to support mandatory notification of infectious diseases. These systems are mainly based on reporting by clinicians and they require additional resources also from clinical microbiologists. In 2005, the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, supported by Ministry of Health, began to create Micronet, the first Italian automatised laboratory based surveillance system.

Methods: Micronet is designed to be a sentinel surveillance system that collect all laboratory test results (positive and negative) from a convenience sample of peripheral microbiological laboratories. The approach is based on the clinical requests. All data are collected from the informative system (LIS) of each laboratory. Before the transmission to the central server, all data are converted automatically in Micronet data format using standardised tables. The data transmission is designed to be on daily basis.

Results: A group of microbiologists and epidemiologists produced 11 standardised tables, regularly updated. The Micronet team released the specifics for the exchange of the data in XLM format. Seven laboratories, as pilot test, implemented the tables and the specifics at local level, sending 3 months of data, corresponding, removing duplicates, to more than 50,000 records. All the data are stored into the Micronet central database and a web site was set up to provide feedback in terms of analysis on aggregated data. For specific requirements, data could be exported on statistical packages for analysis.

Conclusion: The potential users of Micronet are Regional Authorities (integrating existing clinical and laboratories surveillance system) National authorities (trend analysis, alert and support of the infectious diseases notification system) and participant laboratories (comparing local data with regional/national average). Micronet could also represents an important a national network providing instruments for rapid detection of outbreaks and assessment of microbiological trends. Micronet should be fully operative from January 2007 when it is also planned to recruit other laboratories in order to improve the representativeness of the system. The project is now facing some difficulties and criticalities such as the representativeness, comparability of data and methods for duplicates clearing, management of the standardised tables at local level, but the results obtained in the pilot phase show its potentialities.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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