The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to conduct pilot studies on farms to determine the feasibility of collecting pre-harvest samples from food animals as part of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, according to the NARMS 2012-2016 Strategic Plan, released today by HHS.
The NARMS program, established in 1996, monitors antimicrobial susceptibility in enteric bacteria from humans, retail meats and food-producing animals, in order to help assess the impact of veterinary antimicrobial use on human health. The strategic plan lays out four goals and 14 specific objectives for the program to accomplish over the next five years.
The studies would involve collecting animal drug use and resistance data in dairy and feedlot cattle, poultry and swine. Currently, NARMS only collects samples from animal carcasses and retail meats.
NARMS also plans to optimize data acquisition, analysis and reporting by launching an integrated database that will allow data sharing among NARMS partners and stakeholders. NARMS also intends to develop a web-based program that facilitates data collection from public health sites.
The program will also look to strengthen collaborative research projects and collaborate with international institutions focused on mitigating the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, such as the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Trans-Atlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.
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