Tracking Antibiotic Resistance

CDC uses several data sources and systems to track antibiotic resistance in the U.S. and abroad. Knowing where and how changes in resistance are occurring informs solutions (e.g., outbreak response) to prevent spread and slow resistance.

CDC collects data through many tracking systems and uses external sources, like electronic health data, to assess the burden of antibiotic-resistant germs. Data often include information on human infections, pathogens (harmful germs), and reasons or risk factors that cause some people to get a resistant infection. CDC also works with partners to strengthen information-sharing, address data gaps, and harmonize how data are reported across the U.S. and other countries.

The following systems complement each other to provide a comprehensive understanding of known and emerging antibiotic resistance threats.

Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (AR Lab Network)

  • CDC’s AR Lab Network provides nationwide lab capacity to rapidly detect antibiotic resistance in humans related to health care, food, community, and the environment, and inform local responses to prevent spread and protect people
  • It includes labs in 50 states, several cities, and Puerto Rico, including seven regional labs and the National Tuberculosis Molecular Surveillance Center
  • Labs test patient samples to detect germs, including Acinetobacter, Candida, Salmonella, Neisseria gonorrhea, and more
  • Learn more: CDC’s AR Lab Network website

Emerging Infections Programs (EIP)

  • CDC’s EIP includes sites conducting in-depth studies to improve surveillance, prevention, and control of emerging infectious diseases
  • The EIP network collects and analyzes patient, healthcare facility, and lab data to track resistant infections across communities and healthcare facilities, identifying gaps and opportunities for prevention
  • Learn more: CDC’s EIP website

Global Action in Healthcare Network (GAIHN)

  • CDC’s GAIHN detects and contains infectious disease threats in the healthcare setting, initially targeting antibiotic-resistant infections, healthcare-associated infections, and COVID-19.
  • Learn more: GAIHN website

Global Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory & Response Network (Global AR Lab Network)

  • CDC’s Global AR Lab & Response Network improves the detection of existing and emerging antibiotic resistance threats and identifies risk factors that drive the emergence and spread of resistance across health care, the community, and the environment (e.g., water, soil)
  • This global network also supports response to these threats and informs global prevention strategies for antibiotic resistance
  • Learn more: Global AR Lab & Response Network website

Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance and Use System (GLASS)

  • CDC submits collected data to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) GLASS, which provides a standardized approach to the collection, analysis, and sharing of resistance data at a global level
  • A component of GLASS called the Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance Reporting (GLASS-EAR) provides a platform for countries to share when new resistance is identified
  • Learn more: WHO’s GLASS websiteexternal icon

National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS)

  • NARMS tracks resistance changes of certain enteric (gut) bacteria found in ill people (CDC), retail meats (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), and food animals at slaughter (U.S. Department of Agriculture) in the U.S.
  • CDC, through NARMS, helps protect people by providing information about emerging resistance in specific enteric (gut) bacteria (e.g., Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, and E.coli O157 ) and how resistant infections differ from infections that can be easily treated with antibiotics
  • Learn more: CDC’s NARMS website

National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)

  • CDC’s NHSN is the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system and includes information on antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use
  • It provides data to identify problem areas, measure progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate healthcare-associated infections
  • NHSN serves more than 37,000 medical facilities tracking HAIs, including acute care hospitals
  • Learn more: CDC’s NHSN website

National Tuberculosis Surveillance System (NTSS)

  • CDC’s NTSS collects information on each newly reported case of tuberculosis (TB) disease in the U.S. to measure progress of TB control, prevention, and elimination efforts
  • Learn more: CDC’s NTSS website

PulseNet USA

  • CDC established PulseNet in partnership with the Association of Public Health Laboratories, state public health laboratories, and federal partners
  • PulseNet is a national laboratory network that connects foodborne illness cases to detect outbreaks
  • PulseNet has improved our food safety systems through identifying thousands of local and multistate outbreaks early
  • Learn more: CDC’s PulseNet website

Video: Tracking & Data to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

About This Video

Tracking systems can alert us to new threats, help protect people, and guide strategies to fight antibiotic resistance. But collecting data can be challenging. Watch the video to learn more.