Surveillance for Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance Connected to Healthcare (S.E.A.R.C.H.)

About S.E.A.R.C.H.

SEARCH is a network of voluntary participants (i.e., hospitals, state health departments, professional organizations, and clinical microbiology laboratories) who have joined together to report the isolation of S. aureus with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin. Coordinated by the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, SEARCH serves two purposes. First, it enhances the ability to detect bacterial pathogens, that have high public health importance but are difficult to detect through traditional surveillance systems. Second, it provides confirmatory MIC testing when local testing is not feasible. Before requesting confirmatory MIC testing by CDC, laboratories should undertake the following steps:

  1. Notify your state and/or local health department
  2. Check the purity of the isolate and review results
  3. Test the isolates on two separate occasions using acceptable methods to detect a vancomycin MIC of >4 µg/ml after 24 hours of incubation. Acceptable methods for detection include: MIC methods with 24 hour incubation (e.g., MicroScan “overnight test,” Vitek, Etest, Pasco, Sensititre, agar dilution) and screening using a vancomycin screen plate (see laboratory detection)
  4. When these criteria are met, send an email to with your name, title, telephone number, laboratory or facility name, and a description of your testing methods and results.

Thank you for your interest and assistance in combating this important public health problem.