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Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Lab Network


About the AR Lab Network

Established in 2016, CDC’s AR Lab Network supports nationwide lab capacity to

  • rapidly detect antibiotic resistance in healthcare, food, and the community, and
  • inform local responses to prevent spread and protect people.

The AR Lab Network includes labs in 50 states, five cities, and Puerto Rico, including seven regional labs and the National Tuberculosis Molecular Surveillance Center (National TB Center). As a whole, the network tracks changes in resistance and helps identify and respond to outbreaks faster.

More specifically, CDC’s AR Lab Network closes the gap between local capabilities and the data needed to combat AR by providing

  • comprehensive lab capacity and infrastructure for AR pathogens,
  • cutting-edge technology, like DNA sequencing, in every state, and
  • data to drive AR response and prevent infections.

This infrastructure allows the public health community to

  • rapidly detect emerging AR threats,
  • sound the alarm for a comprehensive local response, and
  • better understand these deadly threats so we can contain them quickly.

CDC Investments to Establish the AR Lab Network

CDC established and supports comprehensive lab capacity across the nation. The National TB Center is coordinated from the state health department in Michigan. The seven regional labs coordinate local efforts and are located in the following state health departments:

  • Maryland,
  • Minnesota,
  • New York,
  • Tennessee,
  • Texas,
  • Washington, and
  • Wisconsin.

Additionally, all 50 states, five large cities, and Puerto Rico received investments in 2016 and 2017 to increase capabilities to test for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA). The investments also support whole genome sequencing (WGS) on all Salmonella isolates. The Salmonella testing builds on the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS), a public health surveillance system.

The regional labs will complement these activities done at the local and state level by providing additional testing and outbreak support when needed.

Supports National AR Priorities

The AR Lab Network supports national priorities to combat AR, and complements additional CDC AR prevention and response investments, collectively known as CDC’s AR Solutions Initiative. CDC’s AR Solutions Initiative invests in the nation to defend against antibiotic resistance by supporting national infrastructure to detect, respond, contain, and prevent resistant infections across healthcare settings, food, and communities.

The AR Lab Network supports national priorities

  • Detect: Detect existing and emerging resistance, track big-picture resistance trends, and create pathogen-specific testing solutions for national public health strategies.
  • Respond: Coordinate with local and state public health departments and CDC when threats are reported to inform outbreak response. 
  • Contain: Stop spread, and identify unusual or newly emerged drug resistance. 
  • Prevent: Collecting more comprehensive data for stronger infection control to prevent spread of future AR threats. 
  • Innovate: Lab samples may be available through the AR Isolate Bank to support researchers in developing new diagnostics and more treatment options.

Email ARLN@cdc.gov for more information about the AR Lab Network.

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