IQLS is collaborating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enhance the Laboratory Assessment of Antibiotic Resistance Testing Capacity (LAARC) tool for use in clinical bacteriology laboratories in low- and middle-income countries. This tool, developed in 2017, helps laboratories identify and address practices that lead to inaccurate antimicrobial resistance (AMR) data provision. It assesses quality and capacity in 15 areas of laboratory practices, providing numerical indicators and allowing for monitoring of improvements over time and comparison between multiple laboratories.

To improve and update the tool, IQLS conducted a survey with key stakeholders, users, and a focus group of 35 participants. The survey results underscore the need to implement skip mechanisms in different levels and questions of the tool, and to update it according to the new version of ISO15189:2022 and CAP standards. These updates will ensure comprehensive and effective use of the tool, leading to a better understanding, management, and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance in laboratories.