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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Expert Reviews on the NARMS Program, June 23-24, 2005

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) program was developed in 1996 to monitor changes in susceptibility of select bacteria to antimicrobial agents of human and veterinary importance and is a collaboration between three federal agencies including FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NARMS also collaborates with antimicrobial resistance monitoring systems in other countries, including Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Mexico so that information can be shared on the global dissemination of antimicrobial resistant foodborne pathogens.

Epidemiological and microbiological research studies are conducted within each agency or between agencies on isolates of special interest such as those of a particular serotype or expressing a particular resistance pattern. Currently each NARMS agency prepares a comprehensive annual report with a large quantity of data available on each agencies website. Data and targeted research studies are reported at scientific meetings and published in peer reviewed scientific journals.

The NARMS program is yielding information that is valuable in identifying the source and magnitude of antimicrobial resistance in the food supply and is important for the development of public health recommendations for the use of antimicrobial drugs in humans and food animals. Since its inception in 1996, NARMS continues to expand and improve. On June 23-24, 2005, CVM met with outside experts in Rockville, Maryland to obtain individual authoritative opinions on key elements and future directions of the NARMS program.

FDA has already begun implementation of several of these recommendations. In addition, NARMS was reviewed by the FDA Science Board in FY 2006.