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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Management of the U.S. NARMS Program and Integration of the World Health Organization – Global Foodborne Infections Network

Continuous monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in enteric pathogens in both human and animal populations is established in Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United States. Monitoring in the United States is done through the NARMS program that is directly managed by the CVM. Since the program’s inception here in the United States, NARMS personnel have collaborated with several other countries that operate antimicrobial resistance monitoring, including countries as varied as China and Mexico and Denmark.

In January 2002 the WHO began a program of Global Salmonella Surveillance. The program has since been renamed the Global Foodborne Infections Network (WHO-GFN). This program works in conjunction with the AGISAR and consists of a global network of institutions involved in the isolation, identification, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens. The GFN Steering Committee consists of individuals from public and veterinary health institutions around the world with demonstrated technical competency and leadership in foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak detection. CVM has served as one of the founding members of the Steering Committee and brings NARMS personnel to serve as organizers, trainers, and consultants for GFN training courses. These courses have been enormously successful by developing the practical skills of the participating microbiologists and epidemiologists, encouraging interaction between disciplines, and developing future plans of action for each country.

GFN has succeeded in helping regional centers assume ongoing responsibilities for educating and training regional public health authorities in foodborne disease surveillance and outbreak response. They have helped regions and individual countries develop focused projects in foodborne disease and antimicrobial resistance surveillance.