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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Monitoring of Antimicrobial Resistance in Food Animal Production

Location: Bacterial Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. To elucidate and provide descriptive data, such as prevalence and/or trends, including antimicrobial susceptibilities, and molecular subtyping for foodborne pathogens in food animals through the animal sampling arm of the NARMs program. The project will (1) continue to improve the standardization and quality control of methods used; and (2) where appropriate and necessary re-evaluate and/or develop improved sampling strategies to answer priority questions for NARMS in food animal production that are consistent with the overall NARMS goals and objectives as described on the NARMS web site.

2. Be a national resource of enteric bacterial isolates and resistance data for food animals from NARMS and US-VetNet. This resource will facilitate the identification and characterization of antimicrobial resistance as it emerges. Further, it will facilitate the identification and implementation of any new research needs by the complementary research project within this Unit. It is expected that the project will be highly responsive to requests for data from FDA-CVM, USDA-FSIS, and other stakeholders.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Continual comparison and evaluation of existing culture methodology and quality control of methods.

Where appropriate and necessary re-evaluate and/or develop improved sampling strategies to answer priority questions for NARMS in food animal production that are consistent with the overall NARMS goals and objectives as described on the NARMS web site.


3.Progress Report
This is the first report for a new project which began in February 2011. The focus of the project is three fold: begin on-farm sampling as a part of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), improve culture and testing methodology as needed, and participate in the USDA-APHIS National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) studies. On-farm sampling was initiated in the broiler industry in May, 2011. A pilot study with 2 companies was conducted through August to refine sample type and numbers collected. On-going testing was initiated in September. For swine, on-going testing was also initiated in September. Two food borne pathogens, Salmonella and Campylobacter, as well as two commensal bacteria E. coli and enterococci, are being recovered from fecal samples from both broiler chickens and swine and characterized for their susceptibility to a panel of antimicrobials as well as to the relatedness to one another at the molecular level. NARMS is an on-going monitoring system and is the only antimicrobial surveillance system in the U.S; it is a collaboration between the USDA, FDA, and CDC. Additionally, we are currently participating in the USDA-APHIS NAHMS Sheep study which is assessing the prevalence of the same food borne and commensal bacteria studied by the laboratory. We anticipate completion of the NAHMS study in December 2011. On-going study of the effects culture methodology has on the recovery of Salmonella is in progress. We have determined that culture methodology significantly impacts the type of Salmonella recovered which. Collectively, data from these studies will be used by human and veterinary health officials to enhance public health.

This new Peer Review project replaces 6612-32000-002-00D, "Epidemiology, Ecology, and Molecular Genetics of Antimicrobial Resistance in Pathogenic and Commensal Bacteria from Food Animals"


Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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