Food Safety and Inspection Service

11/22/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/22/2023 08:38

NARMS Findings from the 2020 Integrated Report

ScienceNews Release
Wednesday, November 22 2023

NARMS Findings from the 2020 Integrated Report

Gamola Fortenberry, Uday Dessai, Catherine Rockwell, Bonnie Kissler and Sheryl Shaw, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is a national public health surveillance system through which FSIS partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local public health departments. Together, NARMS partners track changes in the antimicrobial susceptibility of select foodborne bacteria found in ill people (CDC), retail meats (FDA) and food animals (FSIS). The food animal sampling at FSIS focuses on testing food products and intestinal (cecal) contents.

NARMS partners summarize the most important AMR findings for Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli(E. coli) and Enterococcus in an Integrated Report. NARMS published the 2020 Integrated Summary in August 2023. While NARMS annually publishes findings, the publications tend to have a two- to three-year lag due to the complexity of the information summarized as well as the time needed for interagency reviews. New features of the 2020 interactive report include allowing viewers to generate on-demand, user-friendly data displays, where statistically significant AMR trends are highlighted. Key findings from the 2020 report include:

  • The majority (81%) of Salmonella from humans were not resistant to any of the antimicrobials tested (remains unchanged from 2019), which suggests that the current commonly used antibiotics can be considered highly effective.
  • For the first year since 2016, decreased susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (DSC), an antibiotic used in human and animal medicine, among Salmonella isolated from humans declined (from 11% in 2019 to 9% in 2020). Among turkey products sampled at slaughter and in retail chicken, Salmonella with DSC rose (from 31% and 5% in 2019 to 41% and 14% in 2020, respectively).
  • Colistin was added to the antimicrobial susceptibility testing panel for Salmonella and E. coli in 2020. Resistance was at or below 7% for Salmonella isolated from most human, retail and food animal samples.
  • Fluoroquinolone resistance in Campylobacter was largely unchanged in isolates from retail meat and food animal samples between 2019 and 2020.
  • No increase in resistance in Enterococcus was found across most food animal and retail meat sources relative to 2017-2019 levels.

This national surveillance program helps public health agencies continually assess the nature and magnitude of bacterial AMR at different points along the farm-to-fork continuum. Through findings, they can identify new patterns of resistance, track changes over time, and understand the impact of interventions designed to limit the spread of resistance. FSIS and CDC use NARMS information on a case-by-case basis to investigate foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. FDA routinely uses NARMS data in its regulatory review and approval of new animal antimicrobial drugs, and to develop and update policies on the judicious use of antimicrobials in animals.

Learn about NARMS

Last Updated: Nov 22, 2023