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Enhancing NARMS surveillance of antibiotic resistance in retail foods in Hawaii


Project Summary/Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an important issue for food safety and public health. The
National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Retail Food Surveillance in
Hawaii started in 2020. This project will continue the NARMS retail food surveillance in
population representative urban and rural areas in the state of Hawaii. The project’s goal of
improving food safety and protecting public health will be achieved by undertaking the
following specific aims and activities. First, we will continue the NARMS retail food
surveillance in the state of Hawaii. Starting from 2021, our sampling will cover city and rural
areas of the state. Second, we will monitor trends of AMR in different pathogens in retail meat
and seafood specimens. We will collect retail meat (chicken, turkey, pork, beef) and seafood
(shrimp, salmon, tilapia) specimens monthly from randomly selected grocery stores in selected
city and rural areas. We will test meat samples for Salmonella, Campylobacter (poultry only), E.
coli and Enterococcus and seafood samples for Enterococcus, Aeromonas, Vibrio and other
lactose positive bacteria according to NARMS’ Retail Food Protocols. Bacterial isolates will be
sent to FDA monthly for antimicrobial susceptibility test (AST) and whole genome sequencing
(WGS) (WGS of meat isolates will be done by UC Davis). Third, we will conduct
epidemiological studies on prevalence of AMR in retail food. We will collect store information
and metadata for each retail meat and seafood specimen and determine key links between the
prevalence of bacteria and their AMR (e.g. single or multiple drug resistance) and species,
origins, types, and forms of retail food, claims of antibiotics use, and seasons etc. Fourth, based
on results of this project, we will develop lay publications, outreach materials, abstracts and
posters, and peer-reviewed publications. We will disseminate findings to agriculture and
aquaculture communities, veterinarians, and the public via newsletters, extension workshops,
presentations in meetings and conferences, and peer-reviewed journals. Fifth, we will participate
in NARMS conference calls and working groups.
By accomplishing these specific aims and activities, the project will characterize the trends of
AMR in retail foods in the state of Hawaii. The project will enhance NARMS Retail Food
Surveillance and increase public awareness of AMR in retail foods. The project will also
strengthen collaborations among federal and state agencies and academia on research, detection,
surveillance, and investigation of foodborne outbreaks associated with AMR in retail food.

Li, Xunde
University of California - Davis
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