Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #296847

Title: The NARMS 2011 executive report

item MCDERMOTT, PATRICK - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)
item WHICHARD, JEAN - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) - United States
item Cray, Paula
item KABERA, CLAUDINE - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)
item KARP, BETH - Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) - United States
item Plumblee Lawrence, Jodie
item TATE, HEATHER - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)

Submitted to: World Wide Web
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2013
Publication Date: 8/9/2013
Citation: Mcdermott, P., Whichard, J., Cray, P.J., Kabera, C., Karp, B., Plumblee, J., Tate, H. 2013. The NARMS 2011 executive report. World Wide Web. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This report summarizes, in an integrated format, the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System data on Salmonella (non-typhoidal) and Campylobacter recovered in 2011 from human clinical cases, retail meats, and food animals at federally inspected slaughter and processing plants. The report also includes susceptibility data for Escherichia coli recovered from retail meats and chicken carcasses. Summary data from prior years are also included. The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System – Enteric Bacteria (NARMS) is a national public health surveillance system in the United States, which 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 Salmonella and Campylobacter. Generic Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Enterococcus are also tested due to their ubiquitous presence in animals, foods, and humans and their potential to serve as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes for bacterial pathogens. In addition to monitoring antimicrobial susceptibility, NARMS conducts epidemiologic and microbiologic research studies. Some studies examine risk factors and clinical outcomes of infections with specific bacterial serotypes or subsets of bacteria that exhibit particular resistance patterns. Other studies focus on understanding the genetic mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in enteric bacteria and the mechanisms that permit the transfer of resistance between bacteria, on improving methods for isolation and typing, and on developing new methods for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Additionally, NARMS examines Salmonella strains for similarity using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PFGE patterns are entered into CDC’s PulseNet database or USDA’s VetNet database. PulseNet and VetNet are national molecular subtyping networks for foodborne and zoonotic disease surveillance. The following are the primary objectives of NARMS: ' To monitor trends in antimicrobial resistance among enteric bacteria from humans, retail meats, and animals; ' To disseminate timely information on antimicrobial resistance to promote interventions that reduce resistance among foodborne bacteria; ' To conduct research to better understand the emergence, persistence, and spread of antimicrobial resistance; and ' To provide data that assist the FDA in making decisions related to the approval of safe and effective antimicrobial drugs for animals. The NARMS program has three components, which are briefly described below. 1. Human Component The human component of NARMS was launched in 1996 within the framework of CDC’s Emerging Infections Program and the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet). Initially, it included non-Typhi Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157 isolates from 14 state and local health departments. In 1999, Salmonella serotype Typhi and Shigella testing was added. By 2003, NARMS conducted nationwide surveillance of Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli O157 from humans. Testing of Campylobacter from humans began in 5 FoodNet sites in 1997 and expanded to all 10 FoodNet sites by 2003. In 2009, NARMS began testing Vibrio species other than V. cholerae from all 50 states. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of NARMS human isolates is performed at CDC’s laboratories in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia. 2. Retail Meat Component The retail meat component of NARMS was launched in 2002. Retail meat sur