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Extending NARMS surveillance of antibiotic resistance in retail foods in California


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
southern California started in 2018. This project will continue the surveillance in the most
populated city of Los Angeles and expand the surveillance to rural areas in California. 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 city of Los Angeles and expand the surveillance to two rural areas
(Amador and Calaveras) in California. 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. 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 California. 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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