BACKGROUND:There is a pressing need to understand better the extent and distribution of antimicrobial resistance on a global scale, to inform development of effective interventions. Collation of datasets for meta-analysis, mathematical modelling and temporo-spatial analysis is hampered by the considerable variability in clinical sampling, variable quality in laboratory practice and inconsistencies in antimicrobial susceptibility testing and reporting. METHODS:The Microbiology Investigation Criteria for Reporting Objectively (MICRO) checklist was developed by an international working group of clinical and laboratory microbiologists, infectious disease physicians, epidemiologists and mathematical modellers. RESULTS:In keeping with the STROBE checklist, but applicable to all study designs, MICRO defines items to be included in reports of studies involving human clinical microbiology data. It provides a concise and comprehensive reference for clinicians, researchers, reviewers and journals working on, critically appraising, and publishing clinical microbiology datasets. CONCLUSIONS:Implementation of the MICRO checklist will enhance the quality and scientific reporting of clinical microbiology data, increasing data utility and comparability to improve surveillance, grade data quality, facilitate meta-analyses and inform policy and interventions from local to global levels.
Cambodia-Oxford Medical Research Unit, Angkor Hospital for Children, Siem Reap, Cambodia. firstname.lastname@example.org.