Australian Society of Antimicrobials
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ASA National AST Committee

Parent body

The Australian Society for Antimicrobials was formed in March 1999 to facilitate the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in the field of antimicrobials. Society membership covers a diverse background of professions interested in the study of antimicrobials including clinical microbiologists and infectious diseases physicians, respiratory and ICU physicians, medical and non-medical microbiologists and scientists, pharmacists, veterinarians, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and industry representatives from pharmaceutical and diagnostic/research biomedical companies.
The Society conducts national annual scientific meetings and has hosted the Western Pacific Conference on Chemotherapy and Infectious Diseases and the International Symposium on Staphylococci and Staphylococcal Infection. It actively supports research into antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance.

National AST Committee

This committee was established in mid-2011 to provide expert advice and further the cause of skill development in the area of antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Until now, there has been no entity undertaking this task, although matters have often been referred to the Executive of the Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AGAR), a federally funded resistance surveillance group ran through the financial auspices of ASA.


The inaugural membership comprises medical microbiologists and clinical laboratory scientists. Membership will extended once the work plan is fully developed and gaps in expertise have been identified.

Chair: John Turnidge, SA Pathology, Adelaide, SA
Members: Jan Bell, SA Pathology, Adelaide, SA
Geoffrey Coombs, PathWest, Perth, WA
Narelle George, Pathology Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
Michael Huysmans, the Alfred Hospital, Prahran, VIC
Graeme Nimmo, Pathology Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
Jennifer Robson, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, Taringa, QLD

Terms of reference include

  • Provide expert advice to laboratories and other stakeholders Australia-wide on all aspects of susceptibility testing (principally for but not necessarily restricted to antibacterial and antifungals)
  • Provide advice to device manufacturers on preferred testing ranges and other aspects of devices and supplies as requested or required for the Australian environment
  • Assist laboratories in transitioning from CLSI to EUCAST methods and breakpoints (where available)
  • Provide advice to resistance surveillance groups on laboratory methods, testing concentrations, and interpretation of data relevant to the type of resistance surveillance being undertaken
  • Run educational workshops on basic and advanced aspects of susceptibility testing
  • Liaise with international standards setting bodies such as EUCAST and CLSI


Initially, the NAC will meet face-to-face twice yearly in conjunction with the biannual ASA/AGAR, with work being undertaken in between meeting via email and teleconference.

For further information, please contact:

Prof. John Turnidge
Clinical Director, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
SA Pathology @ Women's and Children's Hospital
72 King William Rd
North Adelaide SA 5006
Ph: +61 (0)8 8616 6873