Submitted to: American Veterinary Medical Association Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2005
Publication Date: July 15, 2005
Citation: Cray, P.J. 2005. Collaboration in animal health, food safety, and epidemiology. American Veterinary Medical Association Abstract. July 16 - 20, 2005. Minneapolis, MN. Technical Abstract: Background: Despite significant producer interventions, on-going research efforts and continued surveillance, food borne outbreaks continue to occur. Furthermore, the emergence of multiple antimicrobial resistant food borne bacteria have amplified public concerns. A multi-agency Public Health Action Plan has been developed to address these concerns. Although USDA has been a full participant in this Action Plan, USDA to date has not developed an independent program which deals with antimicrobial research and surveillance issues. Rationale for Developing a Program Headed by USDA: The USDA is uniquely poised to implement a comprehensive program addressing animal health and food safety issues including those attributable to antimicrobial resistant bacterial pathogens. USDA staff are uniquely trained to conduct and manage on-farm and food related issues and have developed critical partnerships with both the food animal industry and consumers. Execution of CAHFSE (pronounced calves) will enhance and expand projects already directed at on-farm issues (APHIS), antimicrobial resistance (ARS), and HACCP compliance monitoring (FSIS) enabling USDA to reliably track both emerging animal diseases and zoonoses within the food animal population which may affect the food supply and impact public health. Objective: To continue expansion of CAHFSE focusing on animal health and food safety issues. Program Outline: CAHFSE commenced in July 2003. As of January 2004, fecal and blood samples are being collected from pigs on forty sentinel farms in four states, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas and North Carolina which are representative of swine production within the industry. Herd health/management data are also being gathered. Currently, samples are being cultured for Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Enterococci, (zoonotic and commensal bacteria). However, once the sample is collected, culture of any bacterium or virus of concern is possible. Sera are being analyzed for antibody to Lawsonia intracellularis, the bacterium responsible for ileitis in growing swine. As with the fecal samples, banked serum samples could be tested to determine exposure to other pathogens or toxins. Samples and health/management data will be collected from each farm four times per year. Quarterly visits/sampling will permit continual tracking of changes in herd health and allow flexibility to address additional issues and emergence of new diseases. Management data will allow the identification of risk factors and provide data for on-going risk assessment. Research will enable timely development of interventions. APHIS is leading the on-farm efforts for sample collection and data and risk factor analysis. ARS is leading the research efforts with expertise in pathogenesis, development of intervention strategies, and molecular and phenotypic characterization of isolates. An additional eight farms are being recruited. Slaughter/process sampling is expected to commence in 2004 and FSIS is leading the in-plant efforts for sample collection, data analysis, and risk assessment. All three agencies participate in study design, development of culture methodology and analysis of the data. Industry input has been solicited for study priorities, design and implementation. Input has also been obtained from other interested parties including academia, consumer groups and other government agencies. Expansion beyond the 48 sentinel farms for swine and/or the addition of other commodities will be based on industry interest and funding. Funding/staffing is currently occurring from existing monies allocated to the Antimicrobial Resistance Research Unit (ARS), the NAHMS Program (APHIS), and FSIS. Expected Outcomes and Benefits: CAHFSE will enable USDA to identify and implement mitigation strategies for animal health and food safety issues in a timely manner thereby averting adverse economic, animal well-being, and public health consequences. Further, it will provide comprehensive science based answers regarding animal health and public health, it will serve as a model for future surveillance efforts on a national level, and it will complement information obtained from both the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) and PulseVet programs (www.arru.saa.ars.usda.gov).