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NARMS in Action

Two Decades of Advancing Public Health through Integrated Surveillance

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To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), scientists from CDC, FDA, and USDA published an article that describes how NARMS contributes to our understanding of resistance in bacteria transmitted commonly through food and shows how such a program can have broad positive impacts on public health. Learn more about how NARMS uses a collaborative, One Health approach to monitor antimicrobial resistance and conduct applied research. Increasing use of new technologies, such as whole genome sequencing, will provide an unprecedented level of detail about bacteria that will not only help NARMS track resistance trends and mechanisms, but also help solve outbreaks caused by resistant bacteria.

Tracking antibiotic resistance in dangerous bacteria that affect people and cattle

cow standing in field

CDC estimates that Salmonella bacteria cause 1.2 million illnesses in the United States every year. Most people get better quickly, but the outcome can be worse for those infected with Salmonella Dublin, a type of Salmonella usually found in cattle. Salmonella Dublin causes rare but severe disease in humans. Salmonella Dublin illnesses in the United States have been linked to raw dairy products and beef products. In the last decade more than half of Dublin infections have been resistant to seven antimicrobial classes and clinical outcomes have worsened.

In this study, CDC investigators use data from NARMS to track cases of resistant Salmonella Dublin in people and in animals. Learn more about how Dublin infections have increased in incidence, antimicrobial resistance, and clinical severity.

Explore the link between antibiotic-resistant Salmonella infections and international travel

traveler in an airport Antibiotic resistance in other parts of the world affects treatment options in the United States. Two studies explore this link for Salmonella enterica resistant to quinolones, a class of antibiotics commonly used to treat Salmonella infections:

Find out how we can help identify the source of an outbreak

stacked petri dishes It can be difficult to find the source of a foodborne outbreak, especially when the outbreak is caused by Salmonella serotype Typhimurium, which can contaminate many different kinds of foods. This study looked at the genes that code for antibiotic resistance in Typhimurium and the plasmids (structures inside some cells that carry and spread resistance genes) that carry them as clues to the sources of outbreaks.

The authors examined resistance plasmids found in Salmonella Typhimurium isolated from retail meat, food animals, and humans. They found one type of plasmid in chicken and a different one in beef, but both types of plasmids were found in Typhimurium causing human infections. This shows that the type of plasmid may provide clues into the source of human infections. Learn more about this study, which demonstrates how bacterial genetic testing can help disease detectives find the source of an outbreak and stop it in its tracks.

Resistance to antibiotics leads to serious illness and longer hospitalizations

Empty hospital bed Antibiotics should not be used unnecessarily on the farm, in hospitals, or in other healthcare settings. For years, public health experts have warned about the consequences of antibiotic overuse and growing antibiotic resistance.

The inappropriate use of antibiotics in humans and food animals in addition to other factors can result in resistant bacteria, which can cause more severe patient outcomes. Read a study showing that people who get ill from antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella are more likely to have severe outcomes and to be hospitalized for their illness.