The National Food Institute was in 2006 appointed EU Reference Laboratory for antimicrobial resistance (EURL-AR) by the European Commission. It is the responsibility of the EURL-AR to provide scientific advice to the Commission on matters in relation to antimicrobial resistance.
In particular it is the responsibility of the EURL-AR to provide scientific advice in relation to the organisation, implementation and evaluation of monitoring schemes for antimicrobial resistance.
In addition the EURL:
  • Annually organise of a proficiency test for susceptibility testing of Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, enterococci and staphylococci for the National Reference Laboratories (NRL's) 
  • Annually organise and participation in a workshop for the NRL-AR's, focussing on results of the comparative studies and discussions on matters of relevance for harmonisation of susceptibility testing in the member countries
  • Disseminate knowledge on antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods to the NRL-AR's
  • Provide specific assistance to individual laboratories through missions, site visits or individual training courses
  • Provide confirmatory testing for NRL-AR's on bacterial isolates of particular relevance or on request by the Commission
  • Participate in EU (EFSA, ECDC, EMA) international fora and committees related to antimicrobial resistance as requested by the Commission
  • Keep contact to international networks and important organizations or institutes, including WHO, FAO, OIE as well as CDC and FDA in the USA
Prior to the inception of the EURL network, the ARBAO-II (Antibiotic resistance in bacteria of animal origin - II) was running for a period of 3 years beginning January 1st 2003. ARBAO-II was a concerted action involving 19 laboratories in 18 European countries. More information on the ARBAO-II network can be found here.
The European Commission have appointed a number of other EURL's, of which the following may be of particular interest to the users of this website:
           EURL - Campylobacter
           EURL - Salmonella
           EURL - VTEC