SMRSARL Tel: 0141 201 8671
The Scottish MRSA Reference Laboratory (SMRSARL) was established in April 1997 in response to a rapid increase in the number of MRSA infections in Scottish Hospitals. Between 1991 and 1995 about 500 MRSA infections were reported annually to the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH). In 1996 this rose markedly to 1500. Since the SMRSARL was established, this upwards trend has continued until 2009 with over 7500 reports, decreasing to 6000 in 2010 and 5000 in 2011, probably reflecting the falling numbers of MRSA infections.
The Laboratory is commissioned by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) which is part of the NSD National Services Division for Scotland. Since 4/11/2013 the SMRSARL has been located within the New Lister Building, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. The laboratory provides a national MRSA reference service and accepts isolates from diagnostic laboratories throughout Scotland. The service includes confirmation of MRSA status, antibiotic sensitivity monitoring, detection of toxin genes and epidemiological typing of strains. In addition, SMRSARL provides advice on infection control issues, teaching and training of medical and technical staff and has an ongoing research and development program. SMRSARL collaborates with HPS to provide data on the national trends in MRSA epidemiology in Scotland.