The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is a U.S. public health surveillance system that tracks antibiotic resistance in enteric bacteria from humans, retail meats, and food animals. Data obtained from investigations conducted by participating laboratories within the NARMS food surveillance program will assist in developing pre-approval safety evaluations of new animal antibiotics, determining parameters for antimicrobial use in veterinary medicine, and the ability of public health and partners to provide information for the development of new interventions to reduce resistance among foodborne bacteria. The primary goal of our continued participation in the NARMS food surveillance program is to improve the detection and surveillance for antimicrobial resistance among enteric bacteria in raw retail meat commodities by providing data obtained from select stores in the state of Washington. The primary objectives of our project are 1) Collect and process samples within a relevant time frame, such as that described in the FDA protocol and guidelines 2) Perform microbiological tests, such as those described in the project protocol, of the total samples suggested by the FDA 3) Utilize microbiological results from the project to analyze quality assurance practices 4) Integrate and coordinate surveillance activities 5) Exchange relevant and complete surveillance data 6) Use data to inform program and policy development 7) Employ data for education on current and emerging hazards 8) Support awareness of antimicrobial resistance among the public 9) Identify foodborne illness outbreaks and coordinate outbreak investigations 10) Analyze antimicrobial resistance data in our jurisdiction over time 11) Defend our jurisdictions involvement in protecting and promoting the public's health. Funds from this application award will be used over the next 5 years to: 1) enhanced outbreak investigation response and reporting 2) improve surveillance to drive public health action in WA State 3) seek collaboration opportunities among city, county, state, and federal partners and other external partners 4) sustain and enhance our laboratory diagnostic capabilities 5) improve laboratory coordination and outreach/information flow in order to coordinate stronger connections between our communicable disease epidemiologists and laboratory functions at the state and local levels in WA State 6) explore ways to develop integrated surveillance information systems.
The realization that the rise in antibiotic resistant infections can be attributed to improper and overuse of antibiotics in food animals as well as in humans has prompted government agencies to promote strategies to slow, confine, and understand the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. The goal of retail meat surveillance is to improve the detection of and surveillance for antimicrobial resistance among enteric bacteria in food commodities. Data obtained from this project will help to inform policy, affect regulatory actions, monitor trends in resistance, raise awareness of the appropriate use of antibiotics, and develop models for good antibiotic stewardship to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment.