Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 9, 2007
Publication Date: January 10, 2007
Citation: Jackson, C.R., Cray, P.J. 2007. Introduction to USDA VetNet. National Animal Health Laboratory Network Steering Committee January 9-10,2007. Urbana, Illinois. Technical Abstract: USDA VetNet was established in 2003 and was modeled after PulseNet USA, the national molecular subtyping network for food borne disease surveillance. The objectives of USDA VetNet are to use pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to subtype zoonotic pathogens submitted to the animal arm of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), compare USDA VetNet and PulseNet PFGE patterns, and to use the comparative data for surveillance and investigation of food borne illness outbreaks. Whereas PulseNet subtypes seven food borne disease-causing bacteria: Escherichia coli O157:H7, nontyphoidal Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter, Yersinia pestis, and Vibrio cholerae, VetNet, at present, subtypes nontyphoidal Salmonella serotypes and Campylobacter from animals including diagnostic specimens, healthy farm animals, and carcasses of food-producing animals at slaughter. By the end of 2006, VetNet had two functioning databases including the NARMS Salmonella and Campylobacter databases. The Salmonella database contained 11,724 Salmonella isolates and 3582 unique XbaI patterns, while the Campylobacter database contained 321 Campylobacter isolates and 197 unique SmaI patterns. Both databases contain the PFGE Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) images, demographic information, and the antimicrobial resistance profiles assigned by NARMS. In the future, veterinary laboratories will be invited to participate in VetNet. The establishment of USDA VetNet enhances the mission of the agriculture and public health communities in the surveillance and investigation of food borne illness outbreaks.