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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System

Updated NARMS logo

Introduction to NARMS

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is a national public health surveillance system that tracks antibiotic resistance in foodborne bacteria. The NARMS program was established in 1996 as a partnership between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

NARMS monitors antimicrobial susceptibility among enteric bacteria from humans, retail meats, and food animals. The major bacteria currently under surveillance are Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus. NARMS also collaborates with antimicrobial resistance monitoring systems in other countries, to work towards international harmonization of testing and reporting. Currently each NARMS agency publishes comprehensive annual reports. In addition, CVM compiles an executive report summarizing NARMS data in an integrated format.

The primary objectives of NARMS are to:

  • Monitor trends in antimicrobial resistance among foodborne bacteria from humans, retail meats, and animals
  • Disseminate timely information on antimicrobial resistance to promote interventions that reduce resistance among foodborne bacteria
  • Conduct research to better understand the emergence, persistence, and spread of antimicrobial resistance
  • Assist the FDA in making decisions related to the approval of safe and effective antimicrobial drugs for animals

In addition to monitoring antimicrobial susceptibility, NARMS partners collaborate on epidemiologic and microbiologic research studies. NARMS also examines foodborne bacteria for genetic relatedness using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). PFGE patterns are entered into CDC’s PulseNet database or USDA’s VetNet database. Data and targeted research studies are reported at scientific meetings and published in peer reviewed scientific journals.

NARMS Point of Contact

Dr. Patrick McDermott
Director, National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS)
U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Center for Veterinary Medicine
Email: Patrick.McDermott@fda.hhs.gov

 

Dr. Heather Tate
Coordinator, National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Veterinary Medicine
Email: Heather.Tate@fda.hhs.gov

 

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