NARMS calls for research improvements to better understand antibiotic resistance
Rockville, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently unveiled its strategic plan to monitor antimicrobial resistance.
ROCKVILLE, MD. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently unveiled its strategic plan to monitor antimicrobial resistance.
In fact, the National Antimicrobrial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), which keeps watch on antimicrobial susceptibility in enteric bacteria from food-producing animals, humans and retail meats, will focus on four key strategic goals from 2011 to 2015. Specifically, NARMS officials are calling for a shared database, more collaborative research, an improved system to make sampling more representative and news ways to promote food safety.
The program monitors Salmonella isolates from chickens, turkeys, cattle and swine carcasses, and it looks at Campylobacter, E. coli and Enterococcus from chicken carcasses. In humans, NARMS investigates data trends associated with non-typhoidal Salmonella and E. coli 0157 isolates. In meat commodities, officials monitor samples for Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Enterococcus.
Since its creation in 1996 to 2009, scientists have reviewed data from 100,000 food-producing animal isolates, 40,000 human isolates and 26,000 retail meat samples. In addition, NARMS reportedly collected data on risk factors, clinical outcomes and genetic mechanisms associated with development of antimicrobial resistance.
According to NARMS' strategic plan, the program will "develop, implement and optimize a shared database with advanced data acquisition, analysis and reporting tools." The hope is to better facilitate data sharing by scientists within FDA, CDC and USDA in a secure environment, FDA says.
Another strategic goal is to make sampling more representative and more applicable to trend analysis, NARMS reports. The plan also calls for the strengthening of collaborative research projects, which represents "a vital component to the NARMS program," officials add. "Laboratory research is also needed to evaluate and develop new testing and analytical methods. Epidemiologic research is needed to estimate the burden of illness due to resistant foodborne pathogens, to identify risk factors for acquiring resistant infections and to help measure the impact of interventions."