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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Monitoring of Antimicrobial Resistance in Food Animal Production

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research

Title: National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Program

item Cray, Paula

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/2011
Publication Date: 10/29/2011
Citation: Cray, P.J. 2011. National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Program. International Symposium on Antimicrobial Resistance. October 29, 2011, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) – Enteric Bacteria is a national public health surveillance system in the United States that tracks changes in the susceptibility of certain enteric bacteria to antimicrobial agents of human and veterinary medical importance. The NARMS program was established in 1996 as a collaboration among three federal agencies: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NARMS monitors antimicrobial susceptibility among enteric bacteria from humans, retail meats, and food animals. Monitoring is conducted for several enteric pathogens, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Shigella (humans only). Generic Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococcus are also tested primarily for their potential to serve as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes for bacterial pathogens. There are three components to the NARMS Program, the human component is led by the CDC, the retail component is led by FDA and the animal component is led by USDA. The entire program is under the direction of the FDA. The following are the primary objectives of NARMS: 1- To monitor trends in antimicrobial resistance among enteric bacteria from humans, retail meats, and animals; 2- To disseminate timely information on antimicrobial resistance to promote interventions that reduce resistance among foodborne bacteria; 3- To conduct research to better understand the emergence, persistence, and spread of antimicrobial resistance; and 4- To provide data that assist the FDA in making decisions related to the approval of safe and effective antimicrobial drugs for animals. NARMS scientists also conduct epidemiologic and microbiologic research studies which focus on risk factors, clinical disease outcomes associated with serotype specific bacteria, and characterization of resistance mechanisms including those enable the transfer of resistance between bacteria. Additionally the bacterial isolation and typing and on developing new methods for antimicrobial susceptibility testing are also studied. In collaboration with the CDC’s molecular subtyping program PulseNet, and USDA VetNet (the animal counterpart of PulseNet), NARMS examines Salmonella and Campylobacter strains for genetic relatedness using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PulseNet and VetNet are national molecular subtyping networks for foodborne and zoonotic disease surveillance and NARMS PFGE patterns are entered into CDC’s PulseNet database (human and retail) or USDA’s VetNet database (animal). These data are useful during outbreak investigations and to track movement of specific clones throughout the United States. Additional information about NARMS, including comprehensive annual reports for each NARMS component, can be found on the FDA, CDC, and USDA websites listed below. The FDA website also includes NARMS Executive Reports. FDA: NationalAntimicrobialResistanceMonitoringSystem/default.htm CDC: USDA:

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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